This is a hearty, wonderful soup that takes a very short time to make. If you have a rind from a piece of Parmiggiano Reggiano, add it to the broth as you cook; if you don’t, you may want to add grated Parmesan cheese to the soup. This soup thickens as it stands (due to the pasta and cheese).
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon, onion, garlic, nutmeg, and red pepper flakes 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 and the piece of Parmesan cheese rind. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook while you prepare the chard, about 10 minutes.
Cut the stems from the chard, and slice the stems into pieces about 3/4-inch long. Cut the chard leaves into 1-inch wide ribbons. Stir the chard 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 chard leaves, sage, and basil into the soup, and simmer just until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes.
Ladle soup into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.
Per Serving: 215 calories; protein 9.9g; carbohydrates 22.2g; fat 9.7g; cholesterol 13.5mg; sodium 493.7mg.