Bean and Swiss Chard Soup

adapted from a recipe by Barbara Kafka

This is the primary reason I grow chard, it is one of my favourite soups.

Yield: Makes about 5 cups (1.25 liters); 4 first-course servings


1/2 pound (225 g) Swiss chard or kale
1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus additional to taste
2 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 tin cannellini beans, drained
4 cups (1 liter) chicken stock
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup (60 g) small shell macaroni
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


Remove the stems from the chard and chop them.

In a medium saucepan, cook the chard with 1/2 cup (125 ml) water and the salt over medium heat until tender. Drain the chard, reserving any liquid that remains. Coarsely chop the chard.

Very finely chop the capers together with the rosemary.

In a medium saucepan, stir together the oil and garlic over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is pale gold, about 10 minutes. Stir in the capers and rosemary. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Discard the garlic. Stir in the chard and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to thoroughly coat it with the oil. Stir in the beans. Cook for 3 minutes.

Stir in the reserved cooking liquid and the stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and stir in the macaroni. Boil for 6 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

Pass Parmesan cheese at the table.


Leave a Reply