Swiss chard, spinach, celery--this soup is a veritable sea of greens. Potatoes, pasta, and Parmesan give it substance and, along with the fennel, a distinctly Italian feel.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 pound boiling potatoes (about 3), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 quart canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 cup tubetti or other small macaroni
1/2 pound Swiss chard, tough stems removed, leaves washed well and shredded (about 3 cups)
1 pound spinach, stems removed, leaves washed well and shredded (about 5 cups)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
How to Make It
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion, fennel, celery, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes.
Add the potatoes, broth, water, the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and the pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the pasta and simmer for 5 minutes longer.
Add the Swiss chard and spinach and bring the soup back to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are wilted and the pasta is tender, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the Parmesan.
You'll need a total of eight cups of shredded greens for this soup. Use one or any combination of the following: Swiss chard,spinach, escarole, green cabbage, or kale. The more variety the better.
Wine Recommendation: Your best bet with all these greens is a charming, fruity red, such as a Beaujolais or Valpolicella. The bright berry flavors will contrast with and highlight the vegetables.