Chard, Bean, and Pancetta Soup

Assembly Time: about 30 minutes; Reheating Time: about 15 minutes. Notes: Thaw overnight or quick-thaw (see Thawing below). Serve with shredded parmesan cheese, breadsticks, and a crisp salad.
Makes 2 main dishes, 4 servings each


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3/4 pound Swiss chard
6 ounces pancetta or bacon, diced (3/4 cup)
2 quarts fat-skimmed chicken broth
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or dried thyme
5 cans (15 oz. each) cannellini (white) beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper


1. Rinse and drain chard. Trim discolored ends from stems. Thinly slice stems and coarsely chop leaves.

2. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat, stir pancetta often until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

3. Stir in chard, sautéed onions and garlic, broth, lemon juice, tomato paste, and thyme. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until chard stems are tender-crisp to bite, 2 to 4 minutes; stir occasionally.

4. Stir in beans. Let cool to room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours.

5. Ladle 1/2 the soup into each of 2 plastic freezer bags (1-gal. size). Seal bags and freeze (see Cold Facts below).

6. Thaw 1 bag (see Thawing below). Empty soup into a 3- to 4-quart pan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Thawing: Cooking times are for thawed, chilled foods. Overnight: The night before serving, place container of frozen food in the refrigerator. Quick-thaw: Heat frozen foods in plastic bags in a microwave oven at 50% power just until pliable, then cook as recipe directs or empty food into a microwave-safe container, drape loosely with microwave-safe plastic wrap, and cook at full power (100%) until steaming. Note: If your microwave accepts metal, you can also quick-thaw dishes frozen in foil pans; follow manufacturer's instructions.

Cold Facts. Packaging: freezer bags. If ingredients include liquid, set each plastic freezer bag upright in a bowl, then fill. Squeeze out all air and seal bag. For better protection of frozen foods during storage, seal each bag inside a second one. Lay bags flat in freezer until solid so they will stack.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Created date

November 2008

Nutritional Information

Calories 399
Caloriesfromfat 36 %
Protein 26 g
Fat 16 g
Satfat 4.9 g
Carbohydrate 40 g
Fiber 13 g
Sodium 695 mg
Cholesterol 14 mg