This recipe takes a usually meatless soup and adds in savoury turkey sausage and hearty Swiss chard. The beauty of this dish is that it comes together in less than an hour and tastes even better 1-2 days old once flavours have had a chance to mingle. The cheese rind is a pro hack, there is deep umami in the rinds and restaurant pros will tell you they're used in soups, stews and sauces a lot more often than you might expect. Most good cheese sections will have them, but you can also keep your own and keep them in the freezer until the need arises. The fish sauce is undeniably unconventional, but if you apply the same umami-based reasoning for using the cheese rinds, then it's not that out of place at all. I've used it for many years and in many unexpected dishes (basically, anywhere you would use salt, you can use fish sauce) chasing that elusive fifth taste and all have ended up being so much more richly balanced. If the fish sauce play is too out of left field for you, simply adjust seasoning with salt as per usual.
Turkey Sausage and Swiss Chard Minestrone 6 Steps
Heat a large Dutch oven or soup pot on medium-high heat. Add in the olive oil and begin searing the turkey sausage until browned, breaking into bite-sized pieces with a wooden spoon. Remove from the pot and set aside once browned.
Turn the heat down to medium low and add in the carrots, celery, onion, minced garlic, dried oregano and bay leaves. Cover and cook until the vegetables have softened and taken on some light browning, approximately 10-12 minutes.
While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the Swiss chard. Slice the stems of the swiss chard the same thickness as the carrots and celery and cut the leaves into 1/2-inch pieces, keep both separate.
Once the vegetables in the pot are ready, add in the diced tomatoes, chicken stock, white kidney beans, Swiss chard stems and Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds if using. Bring to a simmer cover with lid and cook for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes add in the Swiss chard leaves, dry pasta, stir and continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
Adjust seasoning with a few splashes of fish sauce (or kosher salt) as well as black pepper. Allow soup to stand for 10 minutes with the lid on before serving warm topped with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano and chili flakes.