Did you get your hands on some beautiful, garden-fresh chard this summer and need a Swiss chard recipe? This flavorful sausage and bean soup is the perfect way to enjoy this leafy green. Please don’t dismiss soup as cold weather-only food. This one-pot soup is a great easy summer dinner when you don’t want the oven heating up the house!
If you’re looking to include a rainbow of fruits and vegetables in your diet, don’t forget about chard! Swiss chard has dark green leaves and white stems, but you can also find chard with red, gold, and purple stems. When several different colors of chard are bunched and sold together, this is referred to as rainbow chard.
IMVHO, few vegetables are as lovely as a fresh bunch of rainbow chard. Just look at those vibrant colors…
It’s hard for me to resist, whether I spot it at the supermarket or at a farmer’s market. But I don’t love it just because of the pop of color it adds to meals. I also think it is absolutely delicious!
The flavor of Swiss chard reminds me a lot of beet greens. Indeed, this is not purely coincidence, as Swiss chard and beets are in the same family of vegetables. Like beet greens, both the leaves and stalks of Swiss chard are edible.
Mature chard leaves tend to be a little tough, so they are best served cooked rather than raw. Cooking may also help to reduce chard’s bitterness, allowing it to be its best self in your dishes.
A simple saute of chard with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper is a standard treatment of this veggie. But how about instead of relegating it to the side, we bring chard to the center stage instead?
How to maximize the flavor in this Swiss chard recipe
To be perfectly honest, a lot of my very best soup recipes have come about accidentally. They tend to be a mishmash of ingredients that I happen to have on hand. Unfortunately, I don’t usually write these recipes down, so they are enjoyed once before they are lost forever.
With this website, I have a place to share the creations that we feel are winners. (Hooray!) This one-pot sausage and bean soup has earned its spot here and not only because it tastes amazing. It’s packed with veggies and has a bit of a Mediterranean flair. Healthy and delicious!
In terms of flavor, the sausage you use is extremely important! Make sure to use a sausage that you think is delicious because it imparts a lot of flavor to the soup. I used my homemade sausage with chicken, feta, and sun-dried tomatoes, and I thought it was perfect.
The feta, sundried tomatoes, and herbs in the sausage definitely added something extra to this soup. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making your own sausage, fear not! Get your favorite store-bought sausage, and feel free to add additional herbs for a flavor boost.
As always, fresh ingredients are important, so try to use the freshest veggies that you can get your hands on. That said, the celery I used in this one was getting a bit wilted, but this did not negatively impact the soup’s oomph. (Sometimes it’s best to just use up what you have!)
Finally, don’t be afraid to make this one your own. Want to use a different type of beans or a different combination of herbs? Go for it! Chase the flavor profile that makes your taste buds happy.
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The calorie information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let’s get cooking!
Swiss Chard Recipe (One-Pot Sausage and Bean Soup)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 lb. fresh sausage (454 grams; Homemade or store-bought, pick one that has a flavor you love)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, chopped (rainbow carrots are so pretty here)
- 3 medium stalks of celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 14 ounces diced tomatoes (397 grams; from a can, do not drain)
- 3 cups large lima beans (I pressure cooked 1 cup of dry large lima beans, but using frozen or canned beans works too!)
- ½ tablespoon dried oregano
- ½ tablespoon dried basil
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups Swiss chard, both stems and leaves, chopped (approximately 1 small bunch of chard)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated (for topping)
- Brown the fresh sausage in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Break the sausage up with a spatula as it cooks. Remove it from the pot after browning and set it aside. (This step took me approximately 10 minutes.)
- Add the rest of the olive oil (1 tablespoon) to the pot. Soften the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat. (This step also took about 10 minutes.)
- Add all of the ingredients to the pot, except the Parmesan cheese. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf after cooking.
- Divide your soup into four serving bowls and top each bowl with 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). The calorie level of this dish will be impacted by the type of sausage you use. Chicken sausage, including the homemade sausage I am using here, tends to be a lighter option than pork sausage. (FYI, the sausage used for calculating the total calories in this dish provides 173 calories per 4 ounces/113 grams.) As I’ve mentioned before, broth-based soups tend to be an excellent meal option if you have a weight loss goal. This soup is packed with protein and non-starchy veggies, giving you a low-calorie, high-volume meal that provides lasting fullness. If you need a higher calorie meal, consider adding some bread or crackers on the side. If you prioritize making meals with protein and non-starchy veggies, adjusting the dish to meet the energy needs of different family members is easy. Adding a side of starch (bread, crackers, rice, pasta, potatoes, etc.) is a simple way to boost calories without having to cook a separate meal. Even middle-aged adults with weight loss goals and hungry teens can enjoy the same meals with modifications to portions and side dishes.
Do you have a favorite Swiss chard recipe? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below! (And if you try this one-pot soup recipe and want to leave a rating, that would be great too!)