California Backyard Chard Soup

Prep: 30 minutes Cook: 50 minutes



  • 8 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chunked
  • 1 1/2 cups green beans, cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 2 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced
  • 8 cups Swiss chard leaves, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked medium pasta, such as shells, bow-ties or fusilli
  • 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese Substitute
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste


Place 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth in a large soup pot. Add onion, celery, and leeks. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, potato and green beans. Mix well, then add the remaining 8 cups of vegetable broth.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes. Add zucchini and cook an additional 15 minutes. Add chard and pasta and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Add beans and peas and cook for another 5 minutes.

Mix in Parmesan Cheese Substitute (recipe in Salads & Sides) , basil and pepper. Serve at once.

Hint: This was invented last summer when I had a lot of fresh garden vegetables. My chard is still going strong, and it is almost time to replant the rest of the vegetables. I have made this delicious soup throughout the winter using vegetables from the natural food store. This may be varied by omitting the green beans and/or the zucchini, by using different kinds of canned beans or by using different leafy greens.