Winters in San Diego tend to be mild and the change in color is ever so slight that you may even miss it. Normally I make one pot of chili and homemade gluten-free cornbread during the first rainstorm, then the weather turns warm again as winter fades to an early spring and my soup making days are over. But every few years or so we have an El Nino event and we get our fair share of rainy, stormy weather. I'm not sure if this is one of those years or not, but this week it rained on Monday and by Thursday it is back to our typical warm, sunny days. I ain't complaining ...
During the winter, even our winter, I yearn for warm hearty soups. Down home comfort in a bowl. This winter I have been experimenting with swiss chard and came upon this wonderful hearty soup on Pork, Knife & Spoon penned by Shauna Ahern of Gluten-Free Girl & the Chef.
Chard and Sausage Soup with Chickpeas and Tomatoes
adapted from Pork, Knife & Spoon by Shauna Ahern
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Sweet Italian Sausages*, casings removed
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 15-ounce can organic diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can of organic chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups of organic, low sodium, gluten-free chicken stock
4 large chard leaves, stems removed and coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium size dutch on medium-high heat, add extra virgin olive oil and when the oil starts to ripple add the sausage and cook stirring occasionally until the sausage is thoroughly brown. Remove the sausage and put onto a plate covered with a paper towel. Discard most of the fat from the dutch oven.
Add the onion and garlic to the hot pan and cook, stirring occasionally until soft and translucent. Then add the tomatoes and garbanzo beans and cook until they are heated through, around 5 minutes or so. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Then turn down the heat to medium and let the soup simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Then add swiss chard and cook until they are wilted. Turn off heat and serve with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top.
* Alternatively, you may wish to use chicken or turkey sausage. I made this one night on a whim and could not remember if the recipe called for sweet or hot, so I use a link of each and the heat brought a new layer to the soup that I really enjoyed.
Next up ... guest blog by the Doctor Professor on brewing beer ... looking forward to tasting his next batch from Emma's Bliss Brewery.