When you prepare the vegetables for the soup, remember to cut off the root ends and peel off the papery skin on the onions. You can, if you wish, remove or peel the skin off the carrots. If you choose to leave the peels on, make sure you scrub the vegetables under cold running water to remove every last vestige of garden soil that may be clinging to them.
Cut the vegetables into 1-inch dice for a chunky, stew-like soup.
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 cups diced onions
- 2 cups diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup peeled, diced golden beets
- 4 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 cups red wine
- 1 pound kielbasa, about 2 cups diced
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock, canned or homemade
- 1 quart water
- 2, 28-ounce cans butter beans, drained and rinsed well
- 2 cups diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
- 1 pound Swiss chard, roughly chopped for about 4 cups
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Heat oil in an 8-quart soup pot over medium heat. When hot, put the diced onions in the pot and cook about 2 minutes or until the onions start to brown. Add the carrot, celery and beets to the pot. Combine with the onions. Cook 3 minutes. Put the garlic in the pot, stir, cook 2 minutes more. When the vegetables have softened and taken on a bit of color from the pan, pour 2 cups of red wine into the pot. Allow the wine to boil down rapidly until the liquid is almost all evaporated. The wine will become syrupy and glaze the vegetables. This takes about 5 minutes. Put the diced kielbasa in the pot and immediately cover with the stock and water. Cook covered for 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Gently stir in the rinsed and drained beans and the diced tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes. Fold in the chopped Swiss chard. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the greens wilt. Stir in the butter and black pepper. Adjust seasonings, adding salt if needed. Serve in soup bowls topped with the optional grated parmesan cheese. Makes 4 quarts or 16 1-cup servings.