3 slices bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
One 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
One 16-ounce can chickpeas or black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
One 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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