White Bean-and-Chard Soup


When the days get shorter and the outside temperature starts dropping, it is time to pull out the Dutch oven and make a warm pot of soup. One of the easiest and most forgiving of dishes to make, a pot of soup or stew takes only minutes to prepare. If you have leftover chicken, beef, or a few vegetables in the refrigerator, you have the makings for a great soup. Whether you use your slow cooker or let the soup simmer on the stovetop, your kitchen will be filled with the savory aromas of spices, vegetables, and aromatics. Serve a basket of warm, homemade bread with the soup and you have a hearty dinner. This recipe for white bean soup is ready in just 40 minutes, making it convenient enough for a weeknight meal. Canned cannellini beans are paired with Swiss chard, a leafy green vegetable in the same family as beets and spinach. Chard is just as nutritious but has a milder flavor than spinach, plays nicely in a number of dishes and is easy to prepare. To keep the sodium count low, be sure and purchase low-sodium beans and low-sodium chicken stock.

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) 

  • Shaved Parmesan cheese


  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. Ladle 2 cups 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 completely smooth, 1 minute. Return pureed mixture to remaining soup in saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium-high.

  4. Stir in chard. Cook, stirring often, until wilted and slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with Parmesan.

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