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White Bean Soup with Greens*

This southern Italian soup features white beans. Choose from great Northern beans, cannellini beans, or any other white bean you happen to have on hand.

1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard, escarale, or beet greens, trimmed
6 cups chicken broth
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup cooked white beans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Red-pepper flakes, for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the greens and cook for 7 minutes, or until barely tender. Drain the greens, squeezing out as much water as possible. (This can be done several hours before cooking in the soup. It is not necessary to cut the greens, because they will break apart while they cook in the soup.)

Bring the broth to a simmer in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and greens. If using canned white beans, place them in a strainer and rinse them under cold running water to remove excess sodium. Add the beans to the broth. Simmer gently, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper to taste. (Do not add the salt before the soup has finished cooking, or it may become too salty.)

Ladle the soup into heated bowls. Pass the cheese and pepper flakes at the table.

Serves 6. Per Serving: 79 calories, 2 total fat (1 g sat), 0 mg cholesterol, 12 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 4 g fiber, 1008 mg sodium

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