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Chard, Bean, and Pancetta Soup

Makes 2 main dishes, 4 servings each

Assembly Time: about 30 minutes; Reheating Time: about 15 minutes. Notes: Thaw overnight or quick-thaw (see Thawing below). Serve with shredded parmesan cheese, breadsticks, and a crisp salad.

 3/4 pound Swiss chard
 6 ounces pancetta or bacon, diced (3/4 cup)
 1 cup Oven-Sautéed Onions and Garlic
 2 quarts fat-skimmed chicken broth
 1/3 cup lemon juice
 3 tablespoons tomato paste
 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or dried thyme
 5 cans (15 oz. each) cannellini (white) beans, rinsed and drained
  Salt and pepper
Step 1

Rinse and drain chard. Trim discolored ends from stems. Thinly slice stems and coarsely chop leaves.

Step 2

In a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat, stir pancetta often until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Step 3

Stir in chard, sautéed onions and garlic, broth, lemon juice, tomato paste, and thyme. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until chard stems are tender-crisp to bite, 2 to 4 minutes; stir occasionally.

Step 4

Stir in beans. Let cool to room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours.

Step 5

Ladle 1/2 the soup into each of 2 plastic freezer bags (1-gal. size). Seal bags and freeze (see Cold Facts below).

Step 6

Thaw 1 bag (see Thawing below). Empty soup into a 3- to 4-quart pan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 7

Thawing: Cooking times are for thawed, chilled foods. Overnight: The night before serving, place container of frozen food in the refrigerator. Quick-thaw: Heat frozen foods in plastic bags in a microwave oven at 50% power just until pliable, then cook as recipe directs or empty food into a microwave-safe container, drape loosely with microwave-safe plastic wrap, and cook at full power (100%) until steaming. Note: If your microwave accepts metal, you can also quick-thaw dishes frozen in foil pans; follow manufacturer's instructions.

Step 8

Cold Facts. Packaging: freezer bags. If ingredients include liquid, set each plastic freezer bag upright in a bowl, then fill. Squeeze out all air and seal bag. For better protection of frozen foods during storage, seal each bag inside a second one. Lay bags flat in freezer until solid so they will stack.

Step 9

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 0

Amount Per Serving
Calories 399Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g25%

Saturated Fat 4.9g25%
Cholesterol 14mg5%
Sodium 695mg29%
Total Carbohydrate 40g14%

Dietary Fiber 13g52%
Protein 26g52%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.