A rotating exhibit of the things I love most about living in San Francisco.

a truly great recipe: bean, ham and swiss chard soup with celery root


bean, ham and swiss chard soup with celery root and fennel

bean, ham and swiss chard soup with celery root and fennel

Here’s a great recipe for you. Happily, this makes enough for you to have lots and lots of leftovers. (In fact, this soup will taste even better as leftovers, too, I guarantee you!)

From Epicurious, with my additions/modifications in bold:

Tuscan Bean and Swiss Chard Soup (reprinted from Gourmet, Jan 2004 edition)

  • 1 lb dried white beans such as Great Northern, cannellini, or navy (2 cups), picked over and rinsed- (I used cranberry beans)
  • 1/4 lb sliced pancetta, chopped (I used a whole ham hock)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb (sometimes called anise), stalks discarded and bulb chopped
  • 1 whole celery root, cubed
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 cups “>chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth (32 fl oz)
  • 1.5 cup white wine, reduced to about .75 cup
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 (3- by 2-inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
  • 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 lb Swiss chard (preferably red or rainbow), stems discarded and leaves halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Soak beans in cold water to cover by 2 inches in a bowl at room temperature at least 8 hours, or quick-soak (see cooks’ note, below). Drain in a colander.

Cook pancetta in oil in a wide 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer pancetta with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

Cook onion and fennel in oil remaining in pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beans, stock, water, cheese rind, celery root, bay leaf, wine and pepper and simmer, uncovered, until beans are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Discard cheese rind and bay leaf.

Stir in Swiss chard and salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.




4 responses

  1. Robinson

    I made the beer bread a few weeks ago too. I used Sierra Nevada, thinking its kind of yeasty and would do well, but I actually think I would have liked something less flavorful (like water, I mean Bud Light). The SN was kind of bitter or something. Weird. What kind did you use?

    February 7, 2011 at 1:30 am

    • Oh, I’ve never made beer bread. Sounds like a fun project. I hear what you’re saying about the beer, probably better to use a mild one that rounds out the flavours and brings them together rather than dominating the whole experience. Keep playing; that’s the fun part isn’t it? I used a white wine for this soup, btw. . .Pinot Grigio~

      February 7, 2011 at 9:46 am

  2. Robinson

    Nice recipe. Im following along on your new journey.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:31 am

    • Thanks for your comment; you made my day. Glad to have you along for the ride and look forward to hearing more from you in the future. Cheers!

      February 7, 2011 at 9:44 am

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