Mediterranean Pumpkin and Swiss Chard Soup

by Zehorit Heilicher, Tastemaker in Residence

Serves 8

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp hot pepper flakes, optional
1 small sugar pumpkin, (or butternut squash), peeled and cubed
1 bunch Swiss chard, trimmed and sliced
3 quarts broth, chicken or vegetable
1 cup fresh basil, minced
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese, optional
16 oz choice of sliced sausage, optional (see note)


  1. Heat olive oil in a 4-6 quart soup pot over medium high heat. Add onion to pot and cook stirring occasionally until softened and translucent. Add garlic, hot pepper flakes (if using) and marjoram and sauté until fragrant.
  2. Add cubed pumpkin to the pot and sauté until starting to lightly brown in spots. (This is when you can add additional ingredients, such as canned & drained beans or sliced sausage). Cover pumpkin with broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until pumpkin is tender, but still holds its shape
  3. Add Swiss chard and taste the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 5 more minutes. Off the heat, add the basil and serve immediately.
  4. If using, garnish each bowl with grated Parmesan cheese.
  5. This soup can be heartier with the addition of sausage and/or beans as well. Those can be added along with the pumpkin.