Collard Greens & White Bean Soup
This is quick to make and a really good way to use dark, leafy greens. Eaten with a chunk of good, wholegrain bread, this soup is a complete meal. Kale also works well for this soup. You can use any small white beans, either dried or canned. If using canned beans, drain and rinse them before adding them to the soup. It is worth the trouble to cook your own Basic White Beans if you can plan ahead; most canned beans are high in salt, so you can control this when you cook them yourself. Plus, they taste so much better! I often cook batches of beans and freeze them 2 cups at a time so they are ready to throw into a soup or salad whenever I need them.
Prep: 20 - 30 min
Main Ingredient: Collard Greens
- 1 large bunch young collard greens or 2 small ones, leaves stripped from the hard stems and washed
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 sprig plus 1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 large carrot in a small dice
- 1 medium Yukon Gold potato or other waxy potato, cut into a small dice
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 2 cups cooked baby lima or other white beans (cannellini or Great Northern), plus their broth or 1 (14-ounce) can, drained and rinsed well, plus ½ cup fresh water
- 2¼ quarts (9 cups) low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock, or water
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
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1. Pull the leaves from their stems. Cut the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
2. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over a medium-high flame until it starts to ripple. Add the rosemary. Let it sizzle for a moment, then add the onion, carrot and potato. Mix well.
3. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Cover and sweat the vegetables for 8-10 minutes or until they are soft and the onion is slightly golden. Stir every so often to prevent sticking or burning.
4. Turn the heat up to medium high. Add the chopped garlic. Stir and cook for another 2 minutes until you start to smell its aroma. Add the collard greens and stir-fry until they start to wilt and soften.
5. Add the stock and beans, plus their liquid if home-cooked. The beans and vegetables should be well covered with liquid but not drowned. Add a little extra water if needed. Bring the soup to a boil. Partially cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer, stirring from time to time, for 20-25 minutes or until the greens are very tender.
6. Adjust seasoning, then cook 5 minutes more. Mash some of the beans against the sides of the pan to thicken the soup slightly. Stir in the chopped parsley and remaining rosemary. Cook 1 minute, then turn off the heat. Let the soup sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Serve drizzled with a little olive oil, if desired.
I sometimes add a grating of fresh Parmesan cheese when I check for seasoning in step 6 -- not to add a cheesy taste, but instead of salt to bring out the flavors of the soup.