Creamy White Bean-and-Chard Soup

Beans are an inexpensive and nutritious option for family suppers. A pot of red beans and rice is always welcome, either for fall gatherings on the porch or gatherings around the television watching the game. Many Southerners enjoy bacon-flavored, creamy white beans ladled over a wedge of hot cornbread. White beans are also delicious in fall soups and stews. For this white bean soup, we paired cannellini beans with Swiss chard, a nutritious, green leafy vegetable. With a milder taste than spinach, adding chard to the soup is an easy way to sneak the vegetables into the kid's meals. Add the chard to the soup mixture and once it is tender, pour the mixture into your blender and puree until smooth. Top with parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and chives, and serve with some warm, homemade bread. Purchase low-sodium beans and low-sodium chicken stock to keep the sodium count low.  Whether you use your slow cooker, Instant-Pot, or stovetop, a pot of soup or stew is the perfect choice for supper once the days get longer and the weather cools.  

Creamy White Bean-and-Chard Soup
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
40 mins


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped (1 ½ cups)

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (1 Tbsp.)

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 3 (15-oz.) cans lower-sodium cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 

  • 4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 dried bay leaf

  • 3 cups packed roughly chopped Swiss chard (stems and ribs removed; from 1 [8-oz.] bunch)

  • cup sour cream

  • 1 tablespoon whole milk

  • Fresh chives and crushed red pepper for garnish


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high. Add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add beans, broth, and bay leaf.

  2. Bring mixture to a boil over high. Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf.

  3. Add chard to Dutch oven. Cook over low, stirring occasionally, until chard is very tender and wilted, about 6 minutes.

  4. Working in 2 batches, ladle entire mixture into a blender. Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Return pureed soup to Dutch oven, and bring to a simmer over medium-high.

  5. Stir together sour cream and whole milk in a bowl. Top servings with sour cream mixture; garnish with chopped fresh chives and crushed red pepper.

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