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Not-so-boring Swiss Chard!

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. That's how I made Swiss Chard. Delicious, don't get me wrong. But boring after umpteen times.

So one day I was in a local store where you can pick up a rotisserie chicken and some pre-made veggies or sides and some pretty delicious groceries. Stacy Adimando presides over Little North and has such a friendly behind-the-counter countenance that I didn't bat an eye before asking her how she makes Swiss Chard. This is the result of that convo. With a loose tweak or two... once I have a "way" I just riff. It's my superpower and... also my Achilles heel.

My garden is just getting started. The garlic I planted last fall is coming up, so are the onions I planted a month ago. And the rhubarb is going gangbusters. More on that next week.

In my small 6' by 8' greenhouse, I have a gravel floor girded by black landscape fabric to prevent weeds (most) from getting in. A couple of years ago I probably dropped a Swiss Chard seed on the floor and since then I have kept this one crazy volunteer plant alive. Summers. Winters.

Sometimes it reminds me of Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors with Rick Moranis. Other times I nearly kill it. Nearly. Right now it's in full swing with tree trunk-like stalks and big luscious leaves. It was time to harvest. Don't worry. It will grow back.


Swiss chard


Chicken broth (made from the carcass of a roasted chicken, herbs, onions, carrot, celery)

White beans

Block of parmesan cheese rind


Splash of vinegar (I used nasturtium-infused vinegar that I made last year with White Balsamic and Nasturtium blossoms.)

There's something deeply satisfying about using ingredients from our own gardens and homemade stocks. It's a way of connecting with the seasons and savoring the flavors of our own efforts. In this recipe, we bring together the last remnants of onions from last year's garden, a rich chicken stock made from the leftovers from a roasted chicken dinner, and a handful of other pantry staples to create a comforting and nourishing soup-like Swiss chard dish. With a finishing touch of homemade infused vinegar, this recipe celebrates the joys of homegrown and homemade goodness.

Getting started:

  • Onions, chopped: Their natural sweetness and depth of flavor will infuse the broth, providing a robust foundation for the dish.

  • Swiss chard, roughly chopped: The earthy and slightly bitter notes of Swiss chard complement the sweetness of the onions perfectly. Packed with essential nutrients, Swiss chard adds a healthy touch to the soup.

  • Chicken broth: The chicken stock, made from the carcass of a roasted chicken dinner, imparts a rich and savory taste to the soup. Using homemade stock adds a depth of flavor that store-bought versions simply can't match.

  • White beans: Creamy and hearty, white beans are a fantastic addition to this soup. They provide texture and substance while boosting the protein content, making the dish more filling and satisfying.

  • Parm rind: Don't throw away those Parmesan rinds! They are a hidden treasure that adds a wonderful umami richness to the soup. Simmering the rind in the broth allows its flavors to meld with the other ingredients, creating a more complex taste profile.

  • Salt & pepper to taste: Seasoning is key to enhancing the flavors of any dish. Adjust the amount of salt and pepper according to your preference, ensuring a well-balanced and delicious soup.

  • Splash of vinegar: For the final touch, a splash of vinegar elevates the flavors and brightens the dish. In this recipe, white balsamic vinegar infused with the delicate blossoms of nasturtiums grown last year adds a unique floral note and a hint of tangy pepper.


  1. In a large pot, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they turn translucent and begin to caramelize, releasing their sweet aroma.

  2. Stir in the roughly chopped Swiss chard and cook for a few minutes until it wilts down.

  3. Pour in the homemade chicken broth, white beans, and the Parmesan rind. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and let it cook for about 20-30 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

  4. Remove the Parmesan rind, and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Finish the dish with a splash of homemade white balsamic vinegar infused with nasturtium blossoms. The floral and tangy notes will complement the other ingredients and add a touch of brightness.

  6. Serve the dish hot, garnished with a sprig of fresh herbs or a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese if desired.


This onion and Swiss chard dish is a delicious testament to the joys of using homegrown and homemade ingredients. By incorporating onions from last year's garden and flavorful chicken stock made from scratch, you're not only creating a dish bursting with flavor but also connecting with the cycle of seasons and appreciating the fruits of your labor. The addition of Swiss chard, white beans, and a splash of homemade infused vinegar takes this soup to the next level, offering a nourishing and delightful experience for your taste

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