Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Chard and Chickpea Soup Recipe with Sausage and Green Pepper (Can Freeze, Gluten-Free)

This delicious Chard and Chickpea Soup with Sausage and Green Pepper is an easy way to get more greens into your diet!

Chard and Chickpea Soup with Sausage and Green Pepper found on
For a few years now I've been trying to eat more greens, and I've discovered that dishes like this Chard and Chickpea Soup with Sausage and Green Peppers are a tasty way to get a healthy serving of greens without much effort. And since by the time most of you see this post it will officially be the first day of Autumn, it seemed like soup was a good thing to put on the menu this week.

My Chard and Chickpea Soup with Sausge and Green Pepper was inspired by Chard and Garbanzo soup in From Asparagus to Zucchini, a very useful cookbook about cooking with garden produce This recipe made me happy that my garden center had given me good advice on saving the swiss chard, because I used a generous portion of the rescued chard in the soup.

Saute a diced onion and diced green bell pepper in olive oil until they are fairly softened, about 3-4 minutes, then add the minced garlic and cook about 1 minute more. (The green pepper is definitely optional, but I had some from the garden, and it did add a nice flavor. If you're not a pepper fan you could use celery.)

While the peppers and onions cook, dice up 2-3 links of chicken or turkey sausage, then add it to the pot with the dried thyme and let it saute for a few minutes. I used this smoked turkey sausage that I liked so much in Frittata with Zucchini, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Sausage.

Drain the chickpeas (garbanzo beans) into a colander placed in the sink, rinse with cold water until no more foam appears, and add to pot.

Then add chicken stock, canned diced tomatoes and juice, and water and let the soup start to simmer while you chop the chard.

Cut out the thicker part of the chard stem, cut each leaf in half along the stem, and pile up the chard leaves and slice them into thin ribbons. I did this in 2 batches, so this photo is half the amount of sliced chard ribbons I used in the soup.

Especially if you're using garden chard like I did, I would give it a good washing in the salad spinner.

When the chard is all sliced and washed, add it to the soup, turn heat to lowest simmer and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Serve the finished soup hot, with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired. I've been getting a few inquiries about what I'd eat for lunch on the South Beach Diet. and this soup is the kind of dish where I'd make a batch and then purposely freeze several containers of soup for grab-and-go lunches during the week.

Chard and Chickpea Soup with Sausage and Green Pepper
(Makes about 2 quarts or 4-6 servings; recipe inspired by Chard and Chickpea Soup in From Asparagus to Zucchini.)

2-3 tsp. olive oil (depending on your pan)
1 onion, diced into small pieces
1 green bell pepper, seeds and stem removed and diced into small pieces (Green pepper is optional, but good in this; if you're not a pepper fan you could use celery.)
2 tsp. minced garlic
2-3 links pre-cooked turkey or chicken sausage (about 1 cup of diced pre-cooked sausage)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed with cold water
6 cups chicken stock (I used my homemade chicken stock from the freezer)
1 can diced tomatoes with juice +1 can water (I like petite dice tomatoes for soup)
10-15 large chard leaves, thick part of stem removed and sliced into ribbons (6-8 cups chard ribbons)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a heavy soup pot, then add diced onion and diced green bell pepper (if using) and saute for 3-4 minutes, until vegetables are just starting to soften. Add the minced garlic and cook about 1 minute more.

While onion and pepper cooks, dice the pre-cooked turkey or chicken sausage into small pieces. After garlic has cooked a minute, add the sausage and dried thyme and cook a few minutes more.

Drain chickpeas into a colander placed in the sink, rinse well with cold water until no more foam appears, then put chickpeas into soup pot. Then add chicken stock, canned tomatoes and juice, and 1 can water. Let the soup come to a simmer while you chop the chard.

Cut away the thicker part of chard stem, cut chard leaves in half along the stem, then pile up chard leaves and cut into thin ribbons. Wash chard ribbons (especially if you're using garden chard.)

Add chard ribbons to the soup, bring to a low simmer and cook soup for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until chard is starting to break apart and soup flavors are well blended. Serve hot, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top if desired.

This soup will freeze well, and would be perfect to freeze in small containers for a quick grab-and-go lunch for work.

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South Beach Suggestions: 
As long as you use low-fat chicken or turkey sausage, this is a perfect main dish or side dish soup for any phase of the South Beach Diet or any type of low-glycemic eating plan. For phase 2 or 3, this would be great with some 100% Whole Wheat Bread.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Soup with Chard:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Italian Sausage and Bean Soup with Chard from Kalyn's Kitchen

White Bean and Ham Soup with Chard from Kalyn's Kitchen

Crockpot Swiss Chard Soup from A Year of Slow Cooking

Barley, Lentil, and Swiss Chard Soup from The Kitchen Illiterate

Syrian Lentil Chard Soup from Cooking with Amy

Curried Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard from Eggs on Sunday

Swiss Chard Artichoke Soup from Farmgirl Fare

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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  1. I have no problem getting my greens in because I love them so much... this sounds like another great way to serve them!

  2. Dana, I do like them a lot, but I still find I don't eat as many greens as I'd like to. Soup like this can help though!

  3. I definitely do not enough dark, leafy greens. But I love soup, so maybe this is the way for me, too.

  4. I eat super healthily but, you're right, I don't eat as many greens as I should. A lot of oranges and reds. Very few greens. i love this soup though!

  5. Lydia and Joanne, I like the greens on their own, but the long cooking time in the soup sweetens them and makes them even better.

  6. Perfect timing Kalyn! I've got a ton of fresh chard and all the ingredients. I'm back on a roll with soups. I love them for dinner. Not to heavy, not too light and so satifying.

    My grandfather used to do this to this type of soup-
    He'd add a dash of hot sauce and a squeeze a wedge of lemon or a 1/2 tsp. of red wine or sherry vinegar drizzled on top of his bowl of soup. It does something to brighten the flavors and make them pop.

  7. CJ, that's just how I feel about soup too. Love your grandpa's idea to brighten up the flavor.

  8. Sounds great. Could I use kale instead of the swiss chard?

  9. I love greens and we enjoy them regularly (two nights in a row with lentils) but I haven't had chickpeas all that often, outside of hummus. This recipe sounds so yummy Kalyn :)

  10. Julia, kale is a bit stronger flavor than chard, but I think it would still be great in this.

    Kelly, glad you like the sound of this. Green with lentils sounds good to me too!

  11. This soup looks both hearty and delicious. I cannot wait to make it myself. I work with Better recipes and I have to say of all the recipes I review on a daily basis, Soup Recipes are my favorite. I like this recipe in particular because it includes chickpeas which I rarely ever see in soup.

  12. With the exception of greens used in salads, most of my "greens" consumption comes from soups. This one looks delicious!

  13. Wosnes, I think that's true for me too. Glad you like the sound of this.

  14. Indian Restaurant FanSeptember 24, 2010 at 3:54 AM

    Greens, very good and healthy for our health, Lots of Iron content in greens, Can't wait to have this piping hot soup.

  15. I love this time of year- it's the perfect soup weather! I recently made tortellini sausage soup, but your soup looks WAY better!

  16. Kathryn, thanks but I bet your soup was good too.

  17. Loooved this soup! I'm not dieting (actually pregnant) so I doubled the sausage and chickpeas. My hubby and even my toddler loved this soup. Froze it last week and having it this week for dinner too!
    Thanks for your awesome website. I'm finding at least a recipe a week that I really enjoy-- and I love the low-carb aspect!
    God Bless.

  18. Stephanie, so glad you liked it and that you're enjoying the blog. (And good luck with the pregnancy!)

  19. This looks so good. I'm going to try it out tomorrow night!

  20. Thanks Beth. Hope you enjoy it!

  21. Hi Kalyn - I bet I could get my hubby to eat chard if I tossed it into this savory soup.

    1. Hope you will try it; I promise this soup is really good!


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