It may not have felt like soup weather today, but it will be back. Sooner than I’d like. This soup is super low-fat, low-calorie, low carb, gluten-free. All those good things we like to hear. Now, if you’ll just tell my scale that please. Because it doesn’t seem to have gotten the message. I’ve been working out hard 3 times a week. But I can’t get around the fact that once you hit 40, exercise alone doesn’t work so well.
So I’m making every attempt I can (OK, that’s probably a lie) to clean up my diet. I like to eat healthy, but I have to work really hard to keep it interesting. No way can I eat a grilled chicken breast and salad every day. Blah, Blah, Blah.
There’s nothing blah about this soup though. The butternut squash and shallots are nice and sweet, the swiss chard gives the soup an earthiness, and the beans- well, they don’t add a whole lot of flavor, but they do help bulk the soup up. Add just a tiny sprinkle of grated Parmesan on top to finish it off and you have a wonderfully healthy, yet satisfying meal.
Most markets carry both red swiss chard and green swiss chard. I always buy the red because I think it’s so beautiful. Swiss Chard is an ingredient I never cooked with until a few years ago. I’ve recently learned that it is among the most nutritious of vegetables- an excellent source of Vitamins K, A, and C and a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, and dietary fiber. Sounds like a whole daily vitamin doesn’t it?
You could substitute kale for the swiss chard if you’re not a fan of swiss chard, you can’t stand to butcher its beautiful leaves, or you just like kale better.
Cannellini Bean and Swiss Chard Soup
- 2 cans Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 sage leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash
- 4 cups swiss chard leaves, washed and coarsely chopped
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots, sage, and bay leaf. Saute until shallots are translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn heat down to medium if shallots start getting too browned. Add red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt, and about 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
- Add squash and chicken broth to Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer, partially cover pot and cook until squash is just tender.
- Add beans and swiss chard and cook just until swiss chard wilts and beans are warm, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with additional salt if desired. Serve soup in bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Yield: 4-6 servings
Note: This recipe is also perfect for the Advocare Cleanse- just leave off the Parmesan.