This is one other bonuses of a slow cooker, comfort food is created while you do chores. I threw this swiss chard, beef and chickpea soup together then went to the gym and ran some errands. When I came back it was to an almost ready, slow cooked dinner. That said, you could do it just as easily on the stove or in a medium-heat oven.
I made this soup because the beef stew meat was on sale and the chard is in season but it came together nicely enough that I thought I would write it up. Swiss chard has been appearing on all the blogs lately and it really shows itself well in soups where it holds together much better than spinach. If you have more great swiss chard recipes I would love to hear about them!
Beef, Chickpea and Swiss Chard Soup(serves 4-6)
1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Combine chiles, fennel and coriander and crush in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Combine half that mixture with the flour, salt and pepper in a ziploc bag. Add the meat and coat evenly. Add the oil to the pan and give it a twirl to distribute. Add the meat to the pan, shaking off any excess flour as you go. Don’t overcrowd, you can do two batches if you need to. Brown all sides.
2. Remove Meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and add the onion. Cook for 2 minutes stirring regularly. Add garlic, celery, carrots and chard stems and remaining spices. Sweat the vegetables for another 4 minutes. Add wine and cook until only half remains. Add the tomatoes and give it a stir.
3. If you want to use a slow cooker add meat, then vegetable mixture than broth and stir. Cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4-6 or until meat falls apart. Otherwise combine in a large dutch oven and bring to a very gentle simmer and cover and cook until meat is tender. If you want to skim it this is the time, allow to cool slightly first. Stir in chickpeas and chard. Season to taste and cook for about 15 minutes (either in slow cooker on high or in dutch oven). Remove any large pieces of meat and break up. Stir in parsley and serve.