4 slices bacon, finely chopped, fried crisp
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
12 cups chicken broth
2 (15 ounce) cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 bunches of greens (chard, kale, or collard greens)
1/2 cup uncooked small pasta, such as orzo
10 large fresh sage leaves, minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
10 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided (optional)
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon till crisp. Add onion, garlic, nutmeg, and red pepper flakes and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour in chicken broth and cannellini beans, and bring the mixture to a boil; stir in sun-dried tomatoes, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook while you prepare the greens, about 10 minutes.
Cut the stems from the greens and slice the stems into pieces about 3/4 inch long. Cut the greens into 1-inch wide ribbons. Stir the stems and pasta into the soup, setting aside the leaves. Reduce heat to a simmer, and gently simmer until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir the greens, sage, and basil into the soup, and simmer just until wilted, 3 to4 minutes.
Ladle soup into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese if desired.
Makes 10 – 12 servings.