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
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the chard, chickpeas, and chicken stock to the pot.
- 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.
- Add the 2 tsp of lemon juice. If necessary add more lemon and/or salt.
- Ladle soup into bowls and top with cheese.