Swamp Soup… with a Kick (or not)!

Dinner for the first Friday of Lent is always more creative than the 3rd or 4th Friday when I pull out the can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup. This week, though, we have Swamp Soup simmering away, and I’ll make up some grilled cheese sandwiches to ‘go-with.’ Hubby prefers white bread and Kraft American cheese. My sandwich will be made ‘fancy’ with Colby Jack cheese!

photo taken prior to simmer

So… the Swamp Soup, so named because the tomatoes and wilted spinach with the Parmesan rind floating around looks a bit swampy. But, trust me. It’s a delicious swamp!


  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Parmesan rind
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (about 5 packed cups)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot until shimmering. Add the onion and salt and sauté until softened and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, if using, and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
  2. Pour in 4 cups chicken broth, 1 can diced tomatoes and their juices, and the beans. Add rosemary, black pepper, and Parmesan rind, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and simmer for 30-60 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  3. Stir in 5 ounces baby spinach (about 5 packed cups), a few handfuls at a time, until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve garnished with grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Top with lots of grated Parm when serving!

NOTE: If you don’t want your swamp soup to have a kick, simply skip the red pepper flakes. But, honestly, they add a nice zip! You might have noticed that this recipe is very customizable. Like garlic? Add more garlic powder or use garlic cloves. No cannellini beans? Use another one – garbanzos would be good, or skip the beans all together. No fresh spinach leaves, only frozen spinach? That’s okay! Just make sure you thaw it and squeeze out the fluid. Build you swamp your way!

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