Sausage and Bean Soup with Chard
(This is an old recipe that has been removed from my site. I am leaving the printer-friendly version of the recipe here for anyone who was a fan.)
Italian Sausage and Bean Soup with Chard
8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade, but you could use canned
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. ground fennel
3-5 links turkey Italian Sausage (hot or mild, but I prefer hot)
1-2 T olive oil (to brown sausage and saute onions)
1 medium onion, chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
1 tsp. garlic puree or finely chopped garlic
2 cans small white beans (with juice)
Swiss chard (or your favorite greens) – enough to make about 4 large handfuls of chard ribbons
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
In large soup pot, put chicken stock, dried basil, and ground fennel and bring to a low simmer. Simmer broth and herbs while you prepare other ingredients.Squeeze sausage out of the casing and saute in small amount of olive oil until sausage is well browned, breaking up with the back of metal turner as it browns. Remove the browned sausage and add it to the simmering soup pot.In the same pan saute onions until they are softened, adding more olive oil if needed. Scrape browned sausage bits off bottom of the pan as the onions cook. When onions are soft, add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes. Add onions and garlic to the soup pot, then deglaze the pan with about 1/2 cup water, scrape off browned bits in the bottom of the pan, and add that to the soup pot.
Add the beans with juice, rinsing out each can with about 1/4 cup water and continue to let the soup simmer.
Wash chard well, cut off stems, lay about six leaves on top of each other, fold in half lengthwise, and cut into ribbons about 1/2 inch wide. I like to cut the ribbons into smaller lengths so you don’t get long pieces of chard which are hard to get into the spoon.
When the soup has simmered at least 30 minutes, add chard ribbons and simmer about 10 minutes more, or until chard is softened and flavors are well blended. Serve soup hot, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese to add to each bowl.
If you happen to have a Parmesan rind in the fridge, add it to the soup when you first start simmering for added flavor.
This soup freezes well, although you may not have any left!