Neely's Chickpea, Ham and Swiss Chard Soup
- 3 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 (6-ounce) piece smoked ham steak, diced into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 small bunch Swiss chard, stemmed and sliced into thin ribbons
- 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas or black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- Hot sauce, as needed
- Worcestershire sauce, as needed
- Grated Parmesan, for garnish
Add the bacon to a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat. Fry until crisp, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve. To the same Dutch oven, add the onion, garlic, and carrot, and saute until the vegetables are tender, roughly 4 minutes. Add the ham steak and red pepper flakes and adjust the seasonings with salt and black pepper, to taste. Add the Swiss chard and saute until it begins to soften.
Stir in the chicken broth, chickpeas or black-eyed peas, and the canned tomatoes with their juices. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Splash with some hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese and bacon.
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