The last several days we have received much needed rain in the Bay Area. It is almost strange that we are having rain since we have been so dry this winter. I must say that it is a welcome site and I am enjoying having an actual winter now.
With winter here, the natural progression is to enjoy a rich hardy soup to warm the soul. After enjoying the kale salad I posted, I have a craving for leafy and hearty green veggies. While at the grocery store picking up the kale, I spied rainbow swiss chard and it inspired me to create this soup. It was hearty, robust and satisfying. The key is the parmesan rind in the soup – trust me!
Earlier in the week, hubby had a conference in San Francisco for the day and one of the executives at his company hosted a southern BBQ feast at their beautiful home in San Francisco. That morning hubby emailed me at work to let me know that the plans had now included spouses if they were able to attend. I am always up for an evening out in the city. Right after work, I jumped on BART and proceeded to walk ten blocks to meet hubby at the hotel where the conference was. We all jumped in his co-workers car and headed up the hill to the Pacific Heights neighborhood for the dinner party.
Dinner was catered from a southern BBQ joint and included all of the fixin’s with ribs, brisket, sausage, pulled pork, coleslaw, corn muffins and collard greens. Great wine was flowing that included great cabernet sauvignon from Dutcher Crossing in Alexander Valley and Hatcher from the Sierra Foothills. Both were simply divine. A big thank you to our lovely hosts!
Italian Sausage and Swiss Chard Soup
12 C. Chicken Stock
1 Lb. Mild Italian Sausages
2 (15 oz) Can Cannellini Beans
5 Large Stalks Rainbow Chard, chopped
1 Large Onion, fine dice
4 Garlic Cloves, peeled and minced
4 to 5 T. Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 C. Pearl Barley
2 Parmesan rinds
In a large stock pot, add the olive oil and diced onions over medium heat and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for two more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the chicken stock and let come to a slight boil and then reduce to medium heat. Meanwhile, remove the casings from the sausage and cook in a large skillet until completely cooked and then crumble. Drain any extra fat by laying on paper towels and lightly squeeze until dry.
Add the cooked sausage, swiss chard, beans and pearl barley. In addition, add the parmesan rinds. The rinds add tremendous flavor and richness to the soup. Let cook for at least one hour to have the flavor develop.
Serve with finely chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!