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Chard, Bean, and Pancetta Soup

Yield Makes 2 main dishes, 4 servings each
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.


  • 3/4 pound Swiss chard
  • 6 ounces pancetta or bacon, diced (3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup Oven-Sautéed Onions and Garlic
  • 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

Nutrition 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

How to Make It

  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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.