Creamy Beans and Pasta with Swiss Chard

Seasonal soups for a busy week of Christmas decorating, that and a nice hot loaf of garlic bread, perfect for busy times and this week featuring Bert’s beautiful Swiss chard. The soup takes about 30 minutes on the stovetop another recipe that you can customize with other greens and seasonings you’ll find my ingredients list below, what I had on hand in the pantry, spice rack, and refrigerator.

2 tablespoons EVOO, plus a little more to drizzle over the finished soup if you like
4-6 ounces diced pancetta or 2-3 slices of thick applewood smoked bacon
1/2 large Vidalia onion, dice1-1/2 half cups of diced carrots or sliced if you prefer
2 small ribs of tender ribs of celery, small dice
3 cloves of minced garlic
pinches of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup white wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste, plain or sun-dried
32+ounces of hearty chicken stock, the pasta will soak up the juices, so add more if you like
2 cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
5 small sundried tomato halves, chopped
3-4 large fresh sage leaves or 1/4-1/2 teaspoon dried sage
a grate or two of nutmeg
1 sprig of fresh basil, and several leaves to shred over the finished soup
1 bunch fresh swiss chard, trim stems, and rough chop slice the chard leaves into long strips
1-2 inch piece of parmesan cheese rind to drop into the pot
garnish with freshly grated cheese
1+1/2 teaspoons sausage seasoning spice, I make my own, but any that you prefer will work
salt and pepper
Tubetti pasta

Add the olive oil to a cast-iron or other soup pot and toss in the pancetta or bacon to crisp and then remove to a small bowl or paper towels…toss in the chopped chard stems, onion, celery, and carrots sauté for about minutes being careful not to burn the onions. Add the garlic and stir in for another minute or so again being careful not to let it get too brown. Add the tomato paste, chopped sundried tomatoes, and stir into the veggie mix, splash in the white wine to deglaze the pot for about a minute, add all of your herbs, spices, cheese rind, stock, and a few grinds of freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. Cook the soup for 10 minutes add the tubetti pasta and simmer until tender, and finally add the chard and cook until wilted. Serve piping hot and garnish with extra shredded basil and grated cheese.

Wine suggestion Sangiovese or Chianti