Italian bean, bacon & chard stew | Melissa Hemsley
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Italian bean, bacon & chard stew


Italian bean, bacon and chard stew





This simple Italian stew is filled to the brim with some of my favourite ingredients – chard, beans and bacon! Feel free to swap whatever tinned beans you have to hand. This tastes better the next day, too.


  1. Fry leek, onion, carrots, celery and garlic in butter for 6 – 8 minutes then add bacon and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until crispy, stir from time to time.
  2. Add the broth, chard stems, beans, chilli, sage/herbs and simmer for 20 minutes, lid on.
  3. Stir through the chard leaves for a final 5 minutes and season to taste.
  4. To serve, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan


  • 2 tbsp butter or ghee
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large leek, white part only, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced or another leek
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 250g lardons or bacon, chopped
  • 1.5L of good quality broth or stock
  • 1 bunch chard, stems diced and leaves shredded, about 300g, or use other greens
  • 3 x 400g cannelini beans or any beans or 700g cooked beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 sage leaves or 2 sprigs of rosemary or thyme or 1 tsp dried herbs
  • Pinch of chilli flakes
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to serve
  • Generous amount of grated Parmesan, to serve

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