Can I just say good stuff!!!! I actually got this recipe from my boss about a year ago. I had no idea who Neely was but it sounded good and I finally got around to making it and I'm sorry I didn't try it sooner. Recently a friend of mine posted a picture of herself with the Neely's on Facebook. So when I pulled out the recipe again I finally put two and two together. Now to be honest I can not tell you the last time I had bacon, and cooked with it? I just don't ever do that. But it made a huge difference in this recipe. The taste of the bacon in the soup was unbelievable! When I hit those smokey flavored bits it was heaven! And really it's 3 pieces of bacon slit between several servings so how bad can it be?
Neely's Chickpea, Ham and Swiss Chard Soup
Total Time: 1 hr 15 min.
Prep 20 min.
Cook 55 min.
3 slices bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
1 (6-ounce) piece smoked ham steak, diced into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I used 1 teaspoon)
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 small bunch, stemmed and sliced into thin ribbons
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas or black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
Hot Sauce and Worcestershire sauce, as needed (I tried the Worcestershire in one small bowl, didn't care for it and wouldn't use it again and because I used a whole teaspoon of pepper flakes I really didn't need hot sauce)
Grated Parmesan, for garnish (I used it but don't think I would miss it)
Add the bacon to a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat
Fry until crisp, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve.
To the same Dutch oven,(I removed all but about 1T of the bacon fat although the recipe didn't say to) add the onion, garlic, and carrot, and saute until the vegetables are tender, roughly 4 minutes.
Add the ham steak and red pepper flakes and adjust the seasonings
with salt and pepper, to taste.
Add the Swiss chard and saute
until it begins to soften
Stir in the chicken broth, chickpeas or black-eyed peas, and the canned tomatoes with their juices. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 30 minutes.
Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Splash with some hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese and bacon.