White Bean Soup With Swiss Chard
I love days like today. Blue sky, crisp, cool early fall days where the air feels clean (even in NYC) and you need a scarf to stay warm. Sweater-and-boots weather, as my friend Chrissy says. Not cold yet, just cool enough to make me crave a hot cup of cider or a bowl of soup. In fact, on days like this, soup is exactly what I'm craving. I love to have a big pot simmering on the stove, letting its delicious aromas fill the apartment. My go-to recipe is Tuscan White Bean Soup. I have been making this soup for years, always experimenting with different types of greens according to my mood (or what's in the fridge). Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, collard greens...they're all fantastic in this recipe.
I love Tuscan White Bean Soup for so many reasons. First of all, in the spirit of my late blog the Recession Cookbook, it's super affordable to make, and contains a bunch of ingredients that are already in my pantry (cannellini beans, chicken broth, garlic, onion) and fridge (herbs, carrots, celery, greens, Parmesan). Second, it's extremely versatile. The prosciutto can be substituted for bacon–or eliminated altogether if you want to make the soup vegan (in that case take out the Parm and substitute the chicken broth for veggie broth). Also, as I mentioned above, the Swiss chard can be swapped out for any dark leafy green.
Third, it's chock full of vegetables and I always feel quite virtuous eating something with so much fiber (and so little fat!). And last, but not least, it freezes really well. If you are just cooking for two you'll have tons of leftovers: freeze half of the batch for another cold night.
I made a big pot of this soup on Monday and I've got one last bowl to enjoy for lunch today (an added bonus: the flavors actually improve after a few days in the fridge). If only I could convince my husband Brandon to embrace the concept of soup. I could eat a different soup every day, but he, tragically, has an aversion to hot liquids. Making a pot of soup for one, however, is a bit silly–so if anyone wants to drop by for a bowl, let me know![recipe:best-tuscan-white-bean-soup-swiss-chard-recipe]