Chickpea, Chard And Porcini Soup

  • Chickpea, Chard and Porcini Soup.

    Chickpea, Chard and Porcini Soup. Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post

Updated 10/8/2019 1:00 PM

This hearty soup gets its big flavors from the earthiness of porcini mushrooms. If desired, use canned white beans, such as cannellini, instead of the chickpeas, and kale or spinach instead of the chard.

1 ounce dried porcini


3 cups hot water

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (may substitute vegan butter, such as Earth Balance)

1 small yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

One (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, plus their juices

One (14-ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 sprig rosemary

½ teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed

Freshly ground black pepper

10 ounces (1 bunch) Swiss chard, stemmed and shredded

Parmesan, hard goat cheese or other flavorful hard cheese, shaved (optional; may substitute vegan Parmesan)

Soak the porcini in the hot water for 30 minutes. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon, reserving the soaking water. Rinse the mushrooms briefly under cold water (they can be gritty), pat dry with a clean dish towel and coarsely chop. Strain the mushroom soaking liquid through a sieve lined with cheesecloth or paper towels into a bowl.

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In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the olive oil with the butter. When the mixture is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute, then add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, rosemary, reserved mushroom soaking liquid, salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer gently until the flavors meld, 20 to 30 minutes. Add the chard and cook until it is tender, about 5 minutes.

If the soup seems too thick, thin it out with a little water. Discard the rosemary. Taste and add salt and/or pepper as needed. Ladle into warmed bowls, drizzle over some olive oil, and top with the cheese shavings, if using. Serve hot.

Serves 4 (makes 6 cups)

Nutrition | Calories: 310; Total Fat: 17 g; Saturated Fat: 6 g; Cholesterol: 15 mg; Sodium: 360 mg; Carbohydrates: 31 g; Dietary Fiber: 9 g; Sugars: 6 g; Protein: 10 g.

(Adapted from "River Cottage Veg" by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Ten Speed Press, 2011.)

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