Swiss Chard and Bacon Soup

Posted

from The Boston Globe Magazine, August 2 9009

1/2 lb thick-cut bacon, cut into small dice
1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves separated from stems
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
salt and pepper
1 1/2 lbs unpeeled red potatoes, in large cubes
3/4 pound Roma tomatoes, chopped roughly
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a large stockpot over medium heat, add the bacon and cook until golden brown and crisp, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the Swiss chard: Roll the leaves into a cylinder and slice into ribbons. Cut stems into 1/4-inch dice. Keep leaves and stems separate.

Remove the bacon to drain. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan. Add the onion and diced Swiss chard stems to the pan and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the white wine, increase the heat to medium-high, and reduce the wine until almost dry. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the potatoes, return to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are just cooked through. Crush them slightly with a potato masher or a wooden spoon.

Add the Swiss chard leaves, return to a simmer, and cook until the leaves are tender and bright green, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the tomatoes and lemon juice and check seasoning. Ladle soup into serving bowls, top with bacon, and serve immediately.

To store unused portions, cool soup completely in the refrigerator and freeze; freeze bacon in a separate container. To reheat, defrost soup overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to a gentle simmer to serve. Alternately, warm frozen soup over low heat until melted, then bring to a gentle simmer. Re-crisp bacon in a medium oven for a few minutes, if desired.