White Chard Stew Recipe

An A+ white chard riff on a ribollita, using anything and everything on hand.

White Chard Stew

Pictured above - my Sunday soup ritual this week. A riff on a ribollita, using anything and everything on hand. I used all the chard in the crisper (white stemmed), plump white beans, potatoes, celery, the last of the flat of tomatoes from Nadine's Bird Song Farm, and the heels of loaves from both Manresa Bread and Companion Bakeshop. It was just the right way to finish the week, and have something delicious on hand to start the next. Hope to meet some of you soon in far-flung cities. :) xo

White Chard Stew RecipeWhite Chard Stew Recipe

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White Chard Stew

At its core, this is a clean-out-the-fridge stew. Use whatever white beans you have on hand. I used gigante beans here, but cannellini work beautifully. You can absolutely skip the bread if you're avoiding gluten. As far as choosing greens goes - go for the most vibrant chard, or greens, you can get your hands on. I used white stemmed chard. Kale, or a mix of chard and kale is a great way to put a dent in your CSA allocations ;)...

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

5 celery stalks, chopped

4 medium cloves garlic, chopped
3 medium new potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch chunks

2 medium carrots and/or (equivalent) delicata squash, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2 cups chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 pound / 4 ounces chard, stems and leaves well chopped
4 cups / 22 oz cooked white beans

1/4 pound / 4 oz / crustless loaf of bread

2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
grated Parmesan cheese

to serve: ancho chile relish, chopped preserved lemon, basil oil or pesto, or a dab of tapenade...

In your largest thick-bottomed pot over medium heat combine the olive oil, celery, garlic, potatoes, carrot (and/or squash), and onion. Cook for 10 minutes, sweating the vegetables, but avoid any browning.

Stir in the tomatoes and red pepper flakes, and simmer for a few minutes. Stir in most of the chard, 3 cups of the beans, and 8 cups / 2 liters water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the greens are tender, about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, smash or puree the remaining beans with a generous splash of water - until smooth. And then, tear the bread into bite-sized chunks. Stir both the beans and bread into the soup. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the bread breaks down and the soup thickens, 10 -15 minutes. Stir in the salt, taste and add more if needed.

Serve immediately, or cool and refrigerate overnight. Ladle into bowls and top with shredded Parmesan, the remaining chard, and as few, or as many, toppings as you like.

Makes a large pot of soup - enough for 10 servings.

Prep time: 15 minutes - Cook time: 45 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Can't express how much I love winter stews. It makes sweater weather so much better! Looks absolutely delicious! Greetings from chilly harbor-side Hamburg. :)


Hi Heidi! This made a fantastic fall dinner last night and I can't wait to have leftovers for lunch. I made a few small modifications: - I added a small pinch of rosemary - I used a little nutritional yeast in place of parmesan - I didn't have quite enough sourdough bread so I crumbled in a piece of homemade cornbread to finish it off I made a 1.5x recipe so I can freeze a good amount for the colder months ahead =) Thanks for the recipe!


After having this soup for the second time as leftover lunch today at work, my husband texted to tell me that this recipe is "a keeper." I do agree! Topped mine with a quick garlic-basil oil...I love the little pools of oil at the top of the bowl -- and I loooooove the bread in there, especially on day two. Thanks for helping clean out my fridge!


made this for lunch today, and it was delicious! for my gf version i pureed 1 cup of the beans and omitted the bread--rich and thick. thank you heidi for a warm treat on a cold day here in maine. xo


hi! Making this today and wondering when to add the delicate? Thanks- jen

HS: Hi Jen - at the same time as the carrots (or in place of the carrots). Enjoy!


This is my kind of soup. I could eat this every day, and really the best recipes happen when we try to clean up the fridge and experiment with every little thing we have. Deliciousness !

Ciao Florentina

What a lovely recipes for such good and wholesome tasty food, mmmm.... your book looks so great too, congratulations! :)

Susannah (Lemon and Coconut)

Looks so delicious and comforting. I love hearty greens in my stew :)


For C.B.: if you want to keep it vegetarian, you can substitute seitan for the beans. It's really high in protein and very low in fat.


I just made this stew for dinner and it is delicious. Thank you, Heidi! It is going to become a standard recipe in my kitchen.


Hi Heidi! The soup looks delicious. I live in Seattle and I've followed your blog for about five years. I'll be at the book signing on Wednesday -- I look forward to meeting you!

I'll see you there Natalie! :) -h


I just want to say congratulations on your gorgeous gorgeous book! Everything I've been seeing around the web with all the blog post love for you has just cast the most beautiful light on it and I hope to get to pick it up soon :). In the meantime this yummy, warming soup will do! Hope you are having a great week Heidi

Jessie Snyder | Faring Well

Only you can make such a masterpiece out of a clean-out-your-fridge Sunday ritual. ;-) Gorgeous soup, what can I say.

Katie @ Whole Nourishment

So want to make this soon. No fall weather in my neck of the woods yet, 94 for a high today. I may have to turn on the air conditioner just to make this today.


I love how clean and pure your photos are. It's all about the food, and I really appreciate that aesthetic.

Sarah | Well and Full

Love both Companion and Manresa bakeries! I'm saving my heels for this one...


Your recipe for Ribollita was a favorite at our house, until I was diagnosed with celiacs. I was devastated, as it had become my favorite fall/winter soup! I just didn't have the heart to tweak it myself to be gluten free. Thanks for stepping up and answering my prayers! I hope to make it to Seattle tomorrow! It's a 2-hour drive, but, what the heck!


This looks and sounds beautiful, just my kind of soup, and I can't wait to make it once the temperature stops hovering around 100 degrees.


Which far flung cities will you be visiting? Any chance of a trip to the UK?


This looks absolutely comforting and warming... perfect for chilly fall days. The kale is an amazing idea. I don't think I've ever used kale in soup before but this may be talking me into it. Thank you for sharing such a delightful looking recipe!

Loran | Old World Living

I really only came to comment on your new outstanding book, it is absolutely gorgeous. I made your Rasam last night and it was completely lush and delicious. After we finished dinner, I kept dipping a spoon back into the pot. I'm going to make it again next week with chickpeas for an easy nights dinner (my lentils took awhile to cook).; it is officially in the rotation. So, thank you for such an interesting book, I can't wait to cook my way through it.


It seems like the "clean out the fridge" recipes end up being some of the best. Who knew back-of-the-fridge leftovers could look so beautiful and be so good for you!

Amy - Parsley In My Teeth

This sounds perfect for the advent of soup weather. Enjoy Seattle!


This looks amazing (most of your food looks amazing though). I'd have to sub the beans for something else (probably meat) as I'm allergic to all legumes. I imagine beef would be fantastic in this, maybe mushrooms too. Yeah I'm making this soon. Perfect for the cold weather that's slowly over comming eastern Canada.


Well, I am not officially on the hunt for white stemmed chard, I've never even heard of it! Love the idea of using delicata squash in this recipe ~ really anything with squash in it makes my heart sing. I love the stuff! This soup looks filling and nutritious and just what you want on a windy and rainy day like it is today where I live. So nourishing!!!

Laura ~ Raise Your Garden

Hmm... I love a good ribolitta - so comforting and warming after a day outside in the cold (at least here in Europe it's freezing..). I think I'll have to sub cabbage for the chard though - no more chard is in season here - but as long as there's bread and cheese involved you can't go wrong, right? Save travels!


this sounds completely lovely! in Australia it's still a bit chilly even though winter has ended, so a spring-y iteration of this would be so goood! thanks for the inspiration (and wonderful photos!!)


The recipe sounds great, I will be sure to give it a try. Not only that but you have used basic ingredients, a big plus in my book. Last but not least, the chard from my allotment in just about ready..... so perfect timing. THANKS again, great choice of post.


Love the look of this - vibrant, hearty, wholesome. The kind of thing I can have as a meal in itself!

leaf (the indolent cook)

It looks and sounds like my kind of soup! Nourishing and filling - a heartwarming soup that will surely make your day. I'm loving the colour as well!

Jennifer @ Delicious Everyday

Gorgeous as ever. (Now I see what you meant when you said we were soup twins last night!) I'm so enjoying Near & Far, Heidi. I'm just sorry I was unable to congratulate you in person in Santa Cruz. Enjoy Seattle! xoc.

HS: Right? xoxo!


I'm making this tomorrow. Healthy and hearty!


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