We are having one of the craziest introductions into Spring. We have had bursts of warm 70 degree weather since February. But these glorious days of sunshine and blue skies keeping getting followed by ice storms and dips of cooler temperatures.
This week has been yet another dip of cooler temperatures. Slightly exasperated at first, it turned out to be a good opportunity to catch up on some indoor activities and chores. Chilly air and rain streaked window panes are also the perfect conditions for a bowl of hot soup. Tuesday was such a day.
Soup boosts our moods and nourishes our bodies. It is one of my favorite meals to make because there are so many variations to try. There are times when I look at a recipe and plan to make a specific soup with specific ingredients. Often though, the best soups are ones that are inspired by leftovers and whatever is on hand. Certain staples in my kitchen makes a throw-together soup quick and convenient. I try to always keep broth, beans, and bacon in the freezer (bonus alliteration).
This recipe was inspired by a soup I ordered at a sandwich cafe in Boone, NC. We made a day trip into town one day while we were on our camping trip last Fall. The whole meal was delicious and the soup was quite memorable. (I’m sure that the fact that this was a break from camping fare only played a small part in its memorableness…)
Hopefully, the cooler temperatures are mostly behind us. But the next time you need comfort in a bowl, or want a great recipe for a rainy day, give this soup a try.
White Bean and Swiss Chard Soup
- 3 slices bacon
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 C onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1-2 C chopped Swiss chard
- 6 C chicken broth
- 2 C white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 C heavy cream
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Cook the bacon in a dutch oven or large stockpot over medium heat until crisp, flipping pieces halfway through cooking. Remove and cool on a paper towel.
- Drain all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease from pot. Add 1 tablespoon butter, onions, and carrots. Sprinkle vegetables with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Saute onions and carrots over medium heat for 5 minutes, until onions are starting to darken and carrots are just getting tender. Add chopped Swiss chard and stir around for 1-2 minutes until Swiss chard starts to wilt.
- Pour in chicken broth and beans. Bring to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and cook for 10-15 minutes until the carrots are tender. Chop the bacon while the soup is simmering.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and stir in the heavy cream and chopped bacon. Give the soup time to heat up again, then taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Optional: Add 1 cup of shredded roasted chicken for additional protein.
- Serve with your favorite fresh-out-of-the-oven biscuits or muffins.
What is your favorite comfort food to eat on cool, rainy days?