Saturday, August 02, 2008

What to Make with Swiss Chard: White Bean and Ham Soup with Chard

We have a large healthy crop of rhubarb swiss chard growing and need to start using it.
We enjoyed the chard in this great soup recipe:

White Bean and Ham Soup with Chard
(8-10 servings, recipe from kalyns kitchen This will freeze very well.)

3 cups dry white beans, soaked 8 hours or overnight
10 cups homemade chicken stock or 6 cans chicken broth (1 can is slightly less than 2 cups)

1 T minced garlic
1 tsp. dried sage
3-4 dried bay leaves
1 tsp. ground fennel seed (optional but recommended)
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced ham plus ham rind if available
1 bunch chopped red chard (about 4 cups)
Goya ham buillon if needed (depends on how flavorful your ham is)
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Soak dried beans in cold water for 8 hours or overnight. Rinse well.

Put beans in large soup pot. Add chicken stock, water, garlic, sage, bay leaves, fennel, onion, celery, carrots, and ham rind if available. Simmer on low heat for one hour.

Add diced ham and cook 30 minutes more, or longer if needed, until beans are quite soft.

Trim center stem from chard leaves and discard, then cut each leaf in fourths lengthwise, and slice crosswise into strips about 1/2 inch wide. Wash chard after chopping. (If the leaves are big, cut the pieces in half again.)

Add chard to soup with one cup additional water. Taste for flavor and add ham bouillon if desired. (I nearly always add a small amount.) Cook about 20-30 minutes more, until chard and beans are starting to break apart. Season with fresh ground black pepper and serve hot.

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