This swiss chard soup is a healthy and hearty vegetable soup. It’s filled with big ribbons of swiss chard, farro, thyme and a ton of parmesan.
March can be a tough month for cooking inspiration. Technically it’s the beginning of Spring, but in most parts of the country there’s still a very real chance of snow.
We expect warmth and sunshine and bushels of delicate carrots, but the reality is more cold weather and comfort foods.
This spring soup is an attempt to strike a balance between the yearning for fresh vegetables and the need for something hearty and readily available.
It’s savory, flavorful, filling and packed with healthy greens. I love topping it with a soft poached egg and serving it with a simple, bright and earthy Bourgogne Rouge.
can I use swiss chard stems in soup?
Yes! The stems add texture, nutrition and you have them on hand– so why not include them in the soup?
Simply dice them up to the same size as the celery. Then you can saute them with the onions and celery until they’re soft and just beginning to brown. Proceed with the rest of your soup and pat yourself on the back. You used up all of that chard!
how do you cut swiss chard for soup?
For soup, I prefer to cut the swiss chard into 1/2″ wide strips:
- Cut the leaves away from the stem (or use your hands to tear off the leaves)
- Dice the stems
- Stack the leaves and roll them lengthwise into a tight cylinder, like a cigar
- Chiffonnade, or slice, the cigar into 1/2″ wide strips
what does farro taste like?
If you’ve never cooked with farro, you’re missing out. It’s chewy, filling and super versatile. It has a relatively mild flavor, which can be slightly nutty if it’s toasted.
Farro is a study grain that works incredibly well in soup. It’s much harder to overcook than rice, and it doesn’t get soggy like pasta. It only gets a little softer, or fluffier, as it sits in the fridge. That being said, darro does have a tendency to soak up a lot liquid. To combat that, I always thin the chard soup with extra chicken broth when reheating.
how do you cook farro for soup?
This is a tricky question because there are all different types of farro and processing methods these days.
There are at least 3 varieties, and they can each be pearled, semi-pearled or un-pearled (or whole). Depending on the type of farro you have, it may take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour to fully cook.
The best answer is to refer to the cooking guidelines on the package. Typically though, farro needs about 20 minutes to simmer in the broth before adding the potatoes.
how to make swiss chard soup:
- saute chard stems, celery and onions
- stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant
- add farro, broth and red pepper flakes and simmer until farro is almost cooked
- add potato and simmer until tender
- stir in swiss chard, cook until wilted
- serve, topped with parmesan and drizzles of olive oil
swiss chard and farro soup
This is a healthy and surprisingly hearty vegetable soup. It’s filled with big ribbons of swiss chard, chewy farro, chucks of potatoes, fresh thyme and plenty of grated parmesan. The perfect transition into Spring!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Soup
- Cuisine: American
- 1 bunch swiss chard, rinsed and patted dry
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
- 1 cup farro
- 8 cups (2- 32 oz cartons) low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- a pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 medium yukon potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2” cubes
- parmigiano reggiano, for serving
- Cut or tear swiss chard leaves away from thick stems. Stack leaves, 3- 4 at a time, tightly roll lengthwise into a long cigar, and slice crosswise into 1/2″ ribbons. Set aside. Trim and discard tough ends from stems, then dice stems.
- Heat oil in heavy large nonreactive pot over medium-high heat. Add swiss chard stems, onion, celery, a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and onions are translucent, 8- 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook for 1 minute.
- Add farro, chicken broth, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until farro is almost cooked through, about 15 minutes (this may take more or less time depending on your specific type of farro). Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, if needed. Add potatoes and simmer another 10 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Add swiss chard leaves and simmer until just cooked and tender, 2- 3 minutes. Taste again to adjust seasoning and serve with grated Parmesan.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 327
- Sugar: 5.7g
- Sodium: 250mg
- Fat: 10g
- Saturated Fat: 1.9g
- Unsaturated Fat: 7.9g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 47g
- Fiber: 6.4g
- Protein: 17g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: swiss chard soup, spring soup