Italian Sausage and Bean Soup with Chard
This Italian Sausage and Bean Soup with Chard is simple and delicious and comforting! If you’d like a lower-carb soup just use less beans and more sausage and chard. Check out Soup Recipes for more tasty soups.
Long before I ever started thinking about eating the South Beach Diet way, I was a big fan of turkey Italian Sausage, something I use in dishes like Italian Sausage and Zucchini Soup, Sausage and Basil Marinara Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes, and Spicy Cherry Tomato Sauce for Pasta. This soup also has Italian Sausage, but it’s very difference than those recipes, since there are no tomatoes. The combination of sausage, beans, and chard was inspired by one I saw in a cookbook somewhere, but I only jotted down “sausage, beans, and escarole, soup” so I can’t tell you where I found it.
However I can tell you it was a combination that really worked. When I created this recipe I had just picked the last of my swiss chard, and it was a bit chilly that day, so it seemed like this soup was a recipe whose time had come. Here are some highlights and step-by-step photos of how I made it.
Start chicken stock simmering in a large pot, with dried herbs added. Squeeze turkey sausage out of casing and saute, breaking into small pieces. Then add the cooked sausage to the soup pot and continue simmering. For added flavor, saute onions in the same pan as you browned the sausage, scraping the bottom to remove any browned sausage bits.
Add beans, onion, and garlic to stock and continue to simmer. I originally created this recipe when I had garden chard, but this time I had to buy a bunch of Swiss chard, which looked like this. Cut them thick stems off the chard, then lay the leaves on top of each other and cut into ribbons that are about 1/2 inch wide. (Sometimes I cut them in half the other way if the leaves are big because I don’t like long pieces of greens in my soup.)
After the soup has simmered about 30 minutes, add the chard and continue to simmer at least 10 minutes more, or until the chard is soft. Soup is done when greens are cooked and somewhat breaking apart and flavors are well blended. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
More Soups with Italian Sausage:
Spicy Sausage, Lentil, and Tomato Soup
Spicy Yellow Split Pea Soup with Italian Sausage and Green Pepper
Chard and Chickpea Soup with Sausage and Green Pepper
Crockpot Recipe for Sausage, Peppers, and Cannellini Bean Stew with Parmesan
Lentil and Sausage Soup with Cabbage
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
Italian Sausage and Bean Soup with Chard
(about 6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from a cookbook which can’t be credited because I didn’t write down the name)
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!
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Italian Sausage and Bean Soup with Chard is good for any low-glycemic diet, including any phase of the South Beach Diet. Soup with beans is too high in carbs for low-carb diets, but you could make a good soup with much less carbs by using less beans and more sausage and chard.
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