Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer Soup

So, June isn't exactly prime soup time, but I'll tell you what: we're still getting some cold, rainy evenings up here in the north, and I am willing to bet that some of my southern readers are dining in air conditioning these days, so perhaps soup isn't such a bad idea.  There are few better ways to make use of an abundance of vegetables and my friend Laura, from Black Kettle Farm, just brought me two huge, gorgeous bunches of chard which were crying out to be soup-ified.
Also, my dad is just getting back from a long trip overseas, and white bean and veggie soup is his favorite.  As we know, I aim to please, so I whipped up this soup yesterday in anticipation of his homecoming.  I was just going to quietly keep it off the radar, thinking none of you would want a soup recipe this time of year, until my mom proclaimed it "the best soup she has ever had."  This from a woman who pretty much survives on soup alone between the months of October and April. So, in honor of such a distinction, and in case you are being pelted by rain or shivering next to your AC, here is a great summer soup to make use of some of your farmers market goodies.
SMJ'S Sweet Summer Soup
Olive oil
1 lb. dried cannelini beans, soaked overnight
2 sweet Vidalia onions, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 roasted red pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
6 cups veggie or chicken stock
2 bunches Swiss chard, coarsely chopped
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Soak your white beans overnight before starting this recipe.  Drain and rinse them well.
2) Cover the bottom of a soup pot with olive oil and heat it on medium-heat.  Add the onions and saute for 10 minutes until translucent, then add the garlic, roasted red pepper and carrots and saute until the carrots are just tender, about 10 more minutes.
3) Add the soaked white beans, the sun-dried tomatoes and thyme and stir well.
4) Add the stock.  Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cover.  Allow the soup to simmer until the beans are well-cooked and soft, about 2 hours.
5) Stir in the chopped chard and basil.  Both will wilt into the soup in about 5 to 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
The skies are darkening and the temperature is dropping as I write this... perfect night for a bowl of soup and a glass of white.  Ahhh, summer.


  1. This looks awesome Jane. I just started getting vegetables from our weekly coop and was looking for something to do with all the greens!

  2. Yum! More recipes for chard, lettuce, many pounds of spinach, bok choy, etc, please!

    Auntie A.

  3. The Maine coast cools every evening requiring us to add a sweatshirt or fleece. Soup fits right in and warms from the inside and also fires the soul. When someone you love makes a meal especially for you, the experience becomes much more than dinner. It serves to strengthen bonds in the happiest way. To quote Corita imperfectly, "What we seek outside we carry within us and can find with the family having soup and conversation."