Chard Pesto and Chicken Chickpea Soup

This soup uses one bunch of fresh green chard to make two recipes in one. The chard leaves make a bright and versatile pesto, and the stems serve as a surprising substitute for celery to create a rich, full-bodied stock. When combined they create a healthy, quick lunch or hearty weekend dinner.



For the pesto

  • 6 leaves of Josie’s Organics green chard, washed and dried (reserve stems for soup)
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ cup fresh parmesan, grated
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

For the soup

  • ½ store-bought rotisserie chicken, skin removed, white and dark meat shredded with a fork (about 3 cups)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 6 Josie’s Organics chard stems, plus remaining stems from pesto preparation, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • Remaining Josie’s Organics chard leaves, sliced ¼-inch thick

Serves 6


For the pesto

Place chard leaves, garlic and parmesan in a food processor, using the steel blade. Pulse together until a paste is formed. Add lemon juice. With processor on low, slowly stream in olive oil. Scrape the sides with a rubber spatula. Pulse again until oil is fully incorporated and pesto is creamy. Season with salt.

For the soup

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot on medium-high heat. Add onion and chard stems and cook until soft and translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add chickpeas and stir in ⅓ cup pesto. Cook 3-4 minutes to release flavor of the pesto. Fold in carrots and chicken, and pour in chicken stock. Add salt and pepper. Cover. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and simmer 20-25 minutes. Stir in chard leaves and remove from heat. Let sit 5-7 minutes until chard is wilted yet still bright green. Serve. Garnish with grated parmesan.

Dress it Up

For a nice accompaniment to the soup, slice crusty bread about ½-inch thick and slather with some of the chard pesto. Arrange on a baking sheet and place under the broiler 3-4 minutes until bubbly and brown. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

Total Fat
Saturated Fat