White Bean Harvest Soup

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The soup trend continues here at Fit Chef Chicago.  This week’s recipe features tri-color pasta, white beans, and bacon in a richly flavored broth, accompanied by hearty, aromatic vegetables.  I paired the soup with crusty, homemade bread, which I will get to in a later post.  For now – give this recipe a try the next time the weather is cool and you’re in the mood to warm your soul with some comfort food.

2 cups tricolor spiral pasta
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 bunch Swiss chard, rinsed and chopped (about 2 cups chopped)
1 small red onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch half moons
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
Salt
Pepper
Cook pasta in salted water according to package instructions. Set aside.

Don’t forget to salt your pasta water!

In a large pot oven medium heat, add olive oil and bacon. Saute until bacon is crisp. Add chard, onion, carrots, garlic and celery. Saute until softened, but not browned about 7 minutes. Add thyme, oregano, bay leaves and tomato paste. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring often to evenly distribute tomato paste.

Don’t be shy here – letting the tomato paste cook for a while really helps to develop a deep, rich flavor. Just don’t let anything brown – you want consistent and controlled heat.

Add beans, broth, water and cheese. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.

Beans waiting to contribute…

Drained and rinsed, the beans happily join the party.

Let’s get cheesy…

Add pasta. Taste; adjust salt and pepper as needed.  Remove bay leaves and discard.

In goes the pasta!

Ladle into bowls and garnish with additional Romano cheese. Serve with warm, crusty bread – recipe for said bread to follow soon!

The finished product – dig in!

 

White Bean Harvest Soup

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups tricolor spiral pasta
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, rinsed and chopped (about 2 cups chopped)
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch half moons
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package instructions. Set aside.

  2. In a large pot oven medium heat, add olive oil and bacon. Saute until bacon is crisp. Add chard, onion, carrots, garlic and celery. Saute until softened, but not browned about 7 minutes. Add thyme, oregano, bay leaves and tomato paste. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring often to evenly distribute tomato paste. Add beans, broth, water and cheese. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes. Add pasta. Taste; adjust salt and pepper as needed.  Remove bay leave and discard.

  3. Ladle into bowls and garnish with additional Romano cheese. Serve with warm, crusty bread.

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Comments: 2

  1. Anonymous November 7, 2012 at 4:02 pm Reply

    Do you think I could change out the swiss chard for bock choy instead? I find swiss chard a bit to strong in flavor.
    I guess really you could do anything you really want right?
    Thanks though for a nice looking soup recipe.

  2. dave November 7, 2012 at 9:43 pm Reply

    Sure; any sort of hearty green work. Kale, bok choy or chard.

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