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Let's Eat

Vegetable soup with flageolets

(George Boomer for The Boston Globe)
By Allison Boomer
Globe Correspondent / October 20, 2010

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Serves 4 Combine the last of the garden vegetables — green beans, cherry tomatoes, Swiss chard — with chicken stock and a handful of dried flageolets, the small French beans, for a hearty bowl on chilly nights. Allow time for the beans to soak overnight and use Navy beans if you cannot find flageolets. The recipe lends itself to whatever vegetables you have on hand. Try green or yellow squash in place of green beans, or 1/2 cup of rice instead of potatoes. The soup is also delicious with 1/4 pound of chopped ham added at the end. Grate a generous portion of Parmesan on top, then get cozy, and dig in.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1 cup dried flageolets, soaked overnight in water and drained
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn potato, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch dice
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 pound green beans, cut in thirds
4 Swiss chard leaves, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (for serving)
1. In soup pot over medium heat, heat the oil. When it is hot, add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes.

2. Add the chicken stock, water, beans, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and partially cover the pan. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until beans are soft.

3. Add potatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes until they are tender.

4. Add the green beans and chard. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan.