In my opinion, there really isn't a better cold-weather meal than one you can throw in a pot for a delicious and warming dinner in less than 30 minutes (and I'm not talking about a pressure cooker, though that would be a good idea for another column). One that's healthy is just like icing on the cake. Hence, the appearance of this recipe.
It's not a new combination of flavors or a technique that's going to wow you, but it is a good standby, and sometimes those tend to be our best friends on cold winter nights, after a long day.
There are a ton of ways to dress up this soup as well; try playing around with rainbow chard or kale, different herbs like rosemary or thyme during cooking or finishing it with fresh chopped parsley or cilantro. Spicing it up with a generous heaping of dried red chile flakes is always a good idea in my book. If you happen to save your parmesan rinds (which you should), then add one to the soup as it's cooking for a quick boost of flavor.
I prefer shredded chicken in my soup and happened to have some extra time when making this, but if you'd prefer, you can always cut the chicken in thin strips or cubes and just serve it as is.
- Yield:serves 4
- Active time: 25 minutes
- Total time:25 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced fine (about 1 ¼ cups)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 bunch chard, ribs removed and cut into 2-inch ribbons (about 4 to 5 cups)
- 1 (15 ounce) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ pounds chicken breast (about 3 medium breasts)
- 4 cups homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken broth
- 1 piece parmesan rind (optional)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice from 1 lemon
- Parmigiano-Reggiano, for grating
Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook until the onions have softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the chard, chickpeas, chicken, stock and rind, if using, and turn the heat to high, bringing the liquid to a boil. Make sure the chicken is covered and the chard has softened a little and then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until the chicken has cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove chicken, allow to cool slightly, and then shred into bite sized pieces. Return to soup.
Remove parmesan rind (if using). Add lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with a hefty grating of cheese. Serve immediately, passing more cheese tableside.