Soup puts the heart at ease, calms down the violence of hunger, eliminates the tension of the day, and awakens and refines the appetite. No, I did not come up with this quote, but the great Auguste Escoffier did. I hope this hearty soup does exactly that for you, because it does for me. I really enjoy making this soup and I can’t begin to tell you how much flavour it has. I share a couple secret ingredient weapons that definitely brings the flavour. I also love the little meatballs.
CANNELLINI BEAN, SWISS CHARD AND MEATBALL SOUP
Recipe by Mark Calaminici | Food Loves Company
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2-3 hot or mild sausages, casings removed, formed into small meatballs
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup, 220g carrots, peeled and finely diced
½ cup, 100g celery, finely chopped
½ small to medium sweet onion, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Freshly cracked pepper
Chili flakes, to taste
½ cup white wine, optional
900ml or 5 cups chicken stock
1 small piece of rind from Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 Bay leaf
3 tbsp. porcini powder, optional
1 can (540ml) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4-5 cups, 250g swiss chard, roughly chopped into small pieces
Extra virgin olive, to taste
Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated, to taste
1. Heat extra virgin olive oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage meatballs and brown. Remove meatballs and set aside. Don’t worry if they aren’t fully cooked, they will cook when added back into the soup after.
2. In the same pot add butter, carrots, celery, onion, garlic and season with salt, freshly cracked pepper and chili flakes for heat. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add white wine, chicken stock, bay leaf, Parmigiano-Reggiano rind and porcini powder. Mix and cover pot and simmer for 10-15 minutes on medium-high heat.
3. Add meatballs back to pot with cannellini beans, swiss chard. Mix and cover pot with lid and bring heat to low-med and cook for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf, Parmigiano-Reggiano rind can be removed but its edible so I suggest you leave it in. Taste and adjust any seasonings. Serve soup with some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!