If recipes were clothing, this one would be that old sweater you’ve had forever that you probably wear too often but that fits you like a million bucks and makes the perfect fall day even more perfect. Just like that old sweater, this recipe isn’t flashy or expensive; it doesn’t turn heads but it does keep your attention. This recipe comforts and nourishes and, best of all, lasts forever in the fridge so you can enjoy it all week (and, truly, not get tired of it!).
It’s exactly the kind of soup you dream of coming home to, especially when your sinuses are as clogged as the subway at rush hour and your tired bones creak like train tracks. It’s the soup you want to see after a long day of explaining why some verbs in English are followed by gerunds and others by infinitives, or whatever it is you do at work. It’s my favorite soup in the world, hands down, and it’s one I hope finds its way into your kitchen some day very soon.
swiss chard & white bean stew
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 bunch Swiss chard, destemmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry white wine (e.g. chardonnay)
2 15-ounce cans white beans, drained and rinsed
2 – 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon oregano/basil/thyme
salt and pepper
Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, wash the chard and remove the ribs and stems. Cook chard in the boiling water for one minute, then drain and pat dry. Chop coarsely and set aside.
Note: you might think to yourself, Dang, this is a lot of chard! But believe me. This baby shrinks way way down after a minute in the pot. It’s like a magic trick!
Chop the celery and carrots into roughly-even pieces. Dice the onion. Mince the garlic. In the same pot that you cooked the chard in, heat the olive oil and add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes, or until beginning to turn translucent. Add the carrots, celery and garlic, and saute for 15 minutes.
Add wine and cook until the wine reduces by three-fourths (5-10 minutes). Add beans, broth, tomatoes, salt and pepper, and your dried green herbs, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Finally, add chard and cook for 5 minutes more. If you’d like a thinner stew, feel free to add a bit more broth (I added about another half-cup to mine).
There are endless ways to enjoy this marvelous bowl of stew. Most days I just drizzle with a little red wine vinegar and dig in. Crusty bread, of course, pairs nicely. Deb at Smitten Kitchen suggests topping with a poached egg and/or some grated Parmesan, both of which I’ve tried and adored. No matter how you choose to dress it up, this soup will fit you and your taste buds just right.
Note: Without adding any garnishes, this soup is vegan! Hip hip hooray!