Chickpea and Swiss Chard Soup
March 31, 2015
Aunt Suzy says . . .
This winter, Randy and I had what we called “Downton Abbey Dinner Date”. We would record DA and I would cook a soup which we would have while we watched the latest installment, usually Wednesday evenings. It was a lot of fun and great to have warming soups during our coldest months. While I made a few standbys, I tried some new recipes including this one. Margaux had pinned this recipe a while back and while searching for something to cook it caught my eye. I thought it looked really good and that it would be a really quick weeknight meal. We made a number of adaptations to up the deliciousness, but still keeping fast and easy in mind. How quickly you can make this is determined by how much you cook from scratch (chickpeas, e.g.) or how much you use canned/frozen ingredients.
Margaux says . . .
I don’t remember pinning this recipe, but I’m really glad Aunt Suzy brought it to my attention! I just made it last night and it was a hit with the whole family. My son loved that it was spicy, too…he’s very proud that he has a taste for spicy food. If you have someone in your family that is sensitive to spicy things, I would cut the red pepper flakes back to 1/4 tsp. I used fresh chard because I couldn’t find frozen in my grocery store, but I think using frozen is a great idea as a time saver, and I’ll be keeping my eyes out for frozen for the next time I make this.
5 1/2-6 cups cooked chickpeas (four 14-oz cans or 2 cups dried, cooked)
6-7 cups chicken stock, homemade or boxed (or Better than Bouillon no chicken broth for vegetarian)
3 tablespoons EV olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, small dice
1 celery rib, small dice
Swiss chard stems, diced (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Small Parmesan rind, optional
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and leaves cut into 1-inch pieces or 1-2 bags frozen chopped Swiss chard (see above note about stems)
Salt & pepper
Cooked small pasta – elbows, fusilli or shells, optional (we like whole wheat shells)
If using dried chickpeas, cook according to directions. 2 cups dried will produce the amount of cooked called for in this recipe. If using canned, drain and rinse.
Combine 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas and 1 cup chicken stock. Using a hand or regular blender, process until the texture is like oatmeal. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot. Add the onion, carrot, celery, chard stems, if using, and rosemary. Saute over medium heat for 5 or so minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices and the pepper flakes. Stir for a couple of minutes. Add the pureed chickpea mixture, the remaining chicken stock, cooked chickpeas, bay leaf and the Parmesan rind, if using. The amount of stock you will use depends on whether you like your soups on the thick or thin side. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the Swiss chard and cook for another 10-15 minutes until cooked but not mushy. Remove the Parmesan rind and bay leaves before serving.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to directions until al dente.
To serve, place a little pasta in the bottom of the soup bowls and ladle the soup into the bowl. Serve with baguette if desired.