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White Bean Pasta and Swiss Chard Soup

White Bean Pasta and Swiss Chard Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried Great Northern beans or cannellini
      beans
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small bunch red Swiss chard, thick stems
      removed, leaves cut into thin julienne strips
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped canned tomatoes
  • 3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh basil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup fine egg noodles or broken capellini,
      cooked and drained
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • 4 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 6 Tbs. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions:

Pick over the beans and discard any misshapen beans and stones. Rinse the beans well and drain. Put the beans in a large bowl, add cold water to cover generously, and soak for at least 4 hours or as long as overnight. Drain the beans.

In a large pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and sauté for 3 minutes. Add half the Swiss chard and sauté until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, beans, tomatoes, basil and garlic and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the heat.

In a blender, puree the soup in batches, leaving some texture, and return the soup to the pot. Set over medium-high heat and add the pasta and remaining chard. Cook until the chard is wilted but still retains some color, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper and add 2 Tbs. of the parsley. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with the remaining 2 Tbs. parsley and the cheese. Serve immediately.
Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Soup, by Diane Rossen Worthington (Simon & Schuster, 2001).