Rating: 4.74 stars
89 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 72
  • 4 star values: 13
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 0

This is a hearty, wonderful soup that takes a very short time to make. If you have a rind from a piece of Parmiggiano Reggiano, add it to the broth as you cook; if you don't, you may want to add grated Parmesan cheese to the soup. This soup thickens as it stands (due to the pasta and cheese).

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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon, onion, garlic, nutmeg, and red pepper flakes until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour in chicken broth and cannellini beans, and bring the mixture to a boil; stir in sun-dried tomatoes and the piece of Parmesan cheese rind. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook while you prepare the chard, about 10 minutes.

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  • Cut the stems from the chard, and slice the stems into pieces about 3/4-inch long. Cut the chard leaves into 1-inch wide ribbons. Stir the chard stems and pasta into the soup, setting aside the leaves. Reduce heat to a simmer, and gently simmer until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir the chard leaves, sage, and basil into the soup, and simmer just until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes.

  • Ladle soup into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

Cook's Note

If you have one, add a Parmesan rind to the soup as it cooks then remove before serving. If you use pastinas (tubettini, ditalini, pastina, acini de pepe,orzo, etc) or additional beans you made need to add more chicken broth to pot (and especially if reheating leftovers) as the pasta absorbs much of the broth. This does freeze very well (add that extra chicken broth to reheat) Basil can be used instead of or in addition to the sage. If sage is used mince it fine; the basil can be chopped coarsely. You can substitute a can of diced Roma tomatoes for the sun-dried tomatoes if you don't have those. I serve this with bruschetta, or homemade garlic croutons.

Nutrition Facts

215 calories; protein 9.9g; carbohydrates 22.2g; fat 9.7g; cholesterol 13.5mg; sodium 493.7mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (62)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
03/25/2012
Actually, with some changes it is a 10 and I don't feel bad for making some changes and then rating it because the cook herself in her note suggested most of them. I used bulk sausage browned and crumbled instead of bacon, no nutmeg, canned diced tomatoes and a few squirts of tomato paste, basil and italian herbs. I served with fresh grated parmesan, a squeeze of lemon and some garlic croutons. Took me back to my grandmother's table on Sunday afternoon, she was from Naples, had 10 kids and over 40 grandkids and served a lot of beans and greens out of economic necessity. To me it is a gourmet treat. Read More
(46)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
11/04/2011
Interesting to try, and certainly not a bad soup. I've made countless soups similar to this but the flavor of this was different, one that neither Hubs nor I were particularly fond of. Since it was the only ingredient I've never used before in soups, and since I didn't use the optional nutmeg or red pepper flakes, my guess is that it was the fresh sage that we didn't care for, that we thought gave this an odd flavor. Omit it (and maybe even the basil too) and this would be a far better soup. Read More
(38)
89 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 72
  • 4 star values: 13
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
03/25/2012
Actually, with some changes it is a 10 and I don't feel bad for making some changes and then rating it because the cook herself in her note suggested most of them. I used bulk sausage browned and crumbled instead of bacon, no nutmeg, canned diced tomatoes and a few squirts of tomato paste, basil and italian herbs. I served with fresh grated parmesan, a squeeze of lemon and some garlic croutons. Took me back to my grandmother's table on Sunday afternoon, she was from Naples, had 10 kids and over 40 grandkids and served a lot of beans and greens out of economic necessity. To me it is a gourmet treat. Read More
(46)
Rating: 3 stars
11/04/2011
Interesting to try, and certainly not a bad soup. I've made countless soups similar to this but the flavor of this was different, one that neither Hubs nor I were particularly fond of. Since it was the only ingredient I've never used before in soups, and since I didn't use the optional nutmeg or red pepper flakes, my guess is that it was the fresh sage that we didn't care for, that we thought gave this an odd flavor. Omit it (and maybe even the basil too) and this would be a far better soup. Read More
(38)
Rating: 5 stars
05/19/2011
This is a delicious, hearty soup. Next time I would cook the bacon a bit longer before adding the onion, and I would not add the chard stems, just the leaves. I added a can of diced tomatoes with garlic because I didn't have the sundried tomatoes. Thanks! Read More
(23)
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Rating: 4 stars
08/19/2011
I chose this recipe only because I had everything on hand and needing to be used with the exception of the Chard. Am I glad I did1 I did alter/add a few ingredients but I'm sure it would be fine stand alone. Increased the bacon to four slices and fried it by itself and then drained almost all the fat. Added a bit of EVO and sauteed the onion and extra garlic......can't have too much garlic. Increased the sun dried tomatoes to about 1/3 C. The Parmesan rind has to be the key to this recipe. I've seen it on TV but never tried it myself. It gave the soup a wonderful flavor. I think six cups broth is a little shy for soup, if you want it soupy maybe eight cups is better. I used four cups broth but the orzo I used was already cooked and leftover so you need to take that into account. I also increased the basil to about a 1/4C......we like fresh basil! We loved it and will make it again. Read More
(17)
Rating: 5 stars
05/31/2011
This was everything I hoped it would be... Followed the recipe in everyway but did not have fresh sage, so omitted. Can't believe that would have made it any better. It was fantastic. I did have the Parmiggiano Reggiano Rind, amazingly. So glad I found a place to use it. Just experienced the taste of Swiss Chard about a year ago and we really like it.. We have a dinner club with 3 other couples and I can't wait to share it to them. Thanks for sharing, Callinectes. I did post a picture, because this soup is worth it! Chris from Texas Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
01/05/2012
This soup was great however I had some left over sausage and bacon and collard greens and added those to this soup recipe. It turned out fantastic. I would make this soup again and make the same additions. Read More
(7)
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Rating: 5 stars
10/16/2011
Loved it! didn't have the parmesan rind but added some shredded just before serving. Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
03/18/2013
A delicious soup that's healthy and easy to make. I added carrots and celery along with the onion. I also used canned diced tomatoes instead of the sun-dried, and substituted barley for the pasta. I was happy to be able to use a saved parmesan rind and I think that added some great flavor. Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
10/09/2011
This was fantastic. I used bullion to make the chicken broth and Asiago instead of Parmesan but otherwise followed the recipe. Read More
(4)