- 3 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 1 (12 ounce) package pre-cooked turkey or chicken sausage, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 small bunch Swiss chard, stemmed and sliced into thin ribbons (roughly 5–7 cups)
- 6–7 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 (15 ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed (I use great Northern white beans)
- Parmesan cheese rind (optional but recommended for additional flavor)
- 1 tablespoon Penzey’s Mural of Flavor spice mix or some generous pinches of your favorite dried herbs (such as oregano, parsley, thyme, lemon pepper, basil, and bay leaf)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Add the bacon to a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Fry bacon until nicely browned, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside. Drain off all but 2 teaspoons of bacon grease from pan. If you do not have enough bacon grease or prefer a lighter dish, substitute in olive oil. To the same pan, add the onion, garlic, and carrots and sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes. Add the turkey sausage and brown slightly. Add the Swiss chard and sauté until it begins to soften.
- Stir in the vegetable broth and beans. Bring the soup to a boil and add parmesan cheese rind and herbs, then reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Discard cheese rind. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and sprinkle each serving with reserved bacon.
For a vegetarian option, leave out the bacon and sausage and sauté the vegetables in olive oil instead.
Recipe adapted from the Food Network.