When cooking a recipe that is all about a leafy dense green, I often turn to bacon to liven it up and make it more pleasing. Somehow it is much easier to sell Swiss chard soup as a dinner option when I tell the husband it is bacon and chard soup. Ni lie involved, that’s what it is and it is delicious.
Chard and Bacon Soup(serves 4)
Put the bacon in a heavy medium saucepan an turn on the heat to medium low. Let the fat render out and then turn the heat to medium and crisp it up. While you are cooking the bacon wash and shake dry the chard. Separate the stems from the leaves. Finely chop the stems and chop the leaves into bite sized pieces.
Once the bacon is crisp remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel. Add the onion and turn heat down to medium low. Sweat for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, chard stems and a pinch of salt. Sweat for another 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add half of the chard leaves and the sugar, stir in and put on a lid. Let the chard sweat down and into the rest of the mixture. Once wilted stir in the flour and cook for a few minutes to cook into the vegetables, stir regularly. Stir in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes.
While your soup is simmering give the chard a quick sauté in a hot frying pan with a dash of water. This cooked chard will garnish your soup.
After the 15 minutes are up process the soup through a blender and return to the pot. Stir in the cooked chard. Bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Slowly work in the cream. Serve topped with bacon.