Chickpea and Swiss Chard Soup (zuppa di ceci e bietole)

My mother-in-law gave me Swiss Chard from the garden. I wanted to make a healthy soup with the chard with a legume. I had two bags of frozen chickpeas in my freezer. I searched for a recipe and came across a recipe from the Genoa area of Italy. The original recipe didn’t call for potatoes but I added them in because I love potatoes in soup, they always add an extra “heartiness”. The celery and onions also were fresh from the garden.

The recipe also called for tomato paste, which I added because I have an tube of it in my fridge that I need to use. You could replace with fresh chopped tomatoes, tomato puree or canned chopped tomatoes but would with puree or chopped tomatoes, reduce some of the water.

Chickpea and Swiss Chard Soup (Zuppa di ceci e bietole)

Swiss Chard 1 Bunch

Chickpeas 600g (cooked or canned)

Purple Onion 1 small

Carrots 2

Celery 2 medium size stalks

Potato 250g

Tomato paste/concentrate 1 Tablesoon

Salt 1 teaspoon

Vegetable bouillon cube 1

Fresh ground pepper to taste

Parsley Flakes 1 teaspoon

Water 5 cups (enough to almost cover the vegetables)

Olive Oil 1/4 cup (just do it- it makes the soup delicious)

In large soup pot (I used my Le Crueset), add olive oil. Chop onion, carrots, celery, turn heat medium low and add veggies, stirring occasionally. Cover. Chop potatoes. Add potatoes to veggie mix and stir. Cover. Chop Swiss chard. Add chard to veggies and potatoes, stir. Add water, look to see how much water you need, adjust to your preference. If you want a more stew-like soup, add less, for a more brothy soup, add more.

Add bouillon cube, parsley, and salt. Stir. Turn heat up til high and cover. Once boiling, let boil for a minute then turn heat to low and simmer, covered for 45 minutes. Serve piping hot with a chunk of fresh bread.

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