Gluten-Free, Main Course, Nut Free, Soup/Stew
Smoky Butternut Squash, Chard and Chickpea Soup

Yield: About 4 quarts

Don't forget to drain AND rinse your canned beans. Completing those two steps can reduce sodium by up to 41% ! To make this soup vegan, remove the bacon and sub with olive oil, use veggie broth in place of chicken broth and omit the pecorino-romano.


  • 2 slices of bacon (about 1/2 ounce), chopped into 1/2" pieces
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup )
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1-1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp spanish smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into approximately 1" cubes
  • 1 large bunch chard, ribs and stems removed, leaves cut into approximately 1" thick ribbons
  • Two 15.5 oz cans low sodium or reduced sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 32 fl oz low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsp lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • Grated Pecorino-Romano cheese for garnish, about 1 tsp per serving


  1. Place a soup pot, at least 4-1/2 quarts in size, on the stove over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon pieces to a paper towel to drain the fat. Pour the bacon fat out of the soup pot into a small dish. Measure out 2 tsp of the bacon fat and put back into the soup pot.
  2. Add the chopped onion and garlic to the soup pot. Saute on medium heat until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the smoked paprika, salt and thyme. Stir to coat the onions well. Add the butternut squash and stir to coat with the spices.
  3. Add the chard, chickpeas, and chicken stock to the pot.
  4. On high heat, bring soup up to a boil, then turn heat down to low and simmer until butternut squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
  5. Add the 2 tsp of lemon juice. If necessary add more lemon and/or salt.
  6. Ladle soup into bowls and top with cheese.