March is a bitter, deceptive, cranky old woman type of month. One day its balmy and breezy, and the urge for pedicures and flip flops takes hold. But resist, dear readers! Hold off on all things Spring! Soon, there will be farmers’ markets, walks outside without stupid puffy coats and boots, and grilling out with friends and family. But as of now, Chicago is still cold and gray, and that means one thing….soup!
At my house, Sunday is Soupday. I find it so relaxing to spend time alone on a Sunday afternoon, chopping and doctoring up the perfect, warming, soothing concoction. This particular soup brings together the buttery, rich flavor of Swiss Chard and the smooth, silky texture of white cannellini beans. It will sustain you through these last seventeen days until spring! Yes, I am counting…
- 2 large bunches Swiss chard, white stems removed, chopped into ribbons
- 4 cans cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup basmati rice
- 2-4 cloves garlic, depending on your garlic preference, finely chopped
- 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 red pepper, finely chopped
- 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 9 ounces vegetable stock (life’s too short to make your own!)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 t rosemary
- 1/4 t basil
- 1/4 t oregano
- 1/4 t thyme
Combine garlic, celery, onion, red pepper, and olive oil in large soup pan, saute at medium heat until vegetables are transparent.
Add tomatoes, beans, spices (to taste), and stock. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, simmering for about 45 minutes.
Add Swiss Chard ribbons and rice, keeping heat on low for another 30 minutes or so.
Stir frequently and adjust spices to taste. Serve with warm, crusty bread and enjoy!