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Green Bean and White Bean Soup au Pistou

The optional Parmesan rind adds body to the broth and a bit of saltiness. Adding parsley to the pistou (pesto) echoes the fresh green flavors of spring; in summer, you can be make it with basil only. For a dairy-free version, skip the Parmesan rind and the pistou and serve with a lemon wedge for extra tang.
Servings 4
Author Tori Ritchie


  • 1 bunch (about 3/4 pound) Swiss chard
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 6 cups homemade vegetable or chicken broth, or 1 quart store-bought gluten-free broth plus 2 cups water
  • Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
  • 1/2 pound white potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup uncooked white rice
  • 3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 14-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 recipe Basil-Parsley Pistou (below; optional)
  • Kosher salt or sea salt


  1. Trim the center stems from the chard leaves, then dice the stems. Set the leaves aside.
  2. In a soup pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil, then add the chard stems, celery, and leek. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and rosemary and cook for 30 seconds. Add the broth and Parmesan rind.
  3. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and rice, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cut the chard leaves crosswise into thin strips. Add the green beans, chard leaves, and cannellini beans to the soup. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through but haven’t lost their color, about 10 minutes longer. While the soup is cooking, prepare the optional pistou.
  5. When the soup is done, remove the lid and let the soup stand off the heat for 10 minutes to settle the flavors. To serve, season with salt to taste, ladle into bowls, and swirl a spoonful of pistou into each portion.