I'm going a bit out of order, as I still have Monday night's cooking to post about, but this soup was so good and easy that I felt the need to write about it now. This was my first time cooking with collard greens. I know that they are somewhat of a staple in Southern cooking, but that didn't seem to tempt me to get acquainted with them before. But I was looking for a simple vegetarian recipe for this week's menu and came across this one, from the October 2007 issue of Everyday Food. I was also painfully aware that I haven't really been trying new things, like I had resolved to do at the new year. This recipe certainly fit both those bills so I decided to give it a go. And I'm so glad that I did. Another healthy green added to our diet is definitely a good thing. Collard greens are rich in calcium, vitamins B1, B2, B9, C, beta carotene, and of course is a good source of fiber. So this is a soup that definitely packs a punch. So glad to have another great go-to soup recipe and to have had a great experience with collard greens.
Minestrone with Collard Greens and White Beans
Recipe from Everyday Food; Serves 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 lb., about two bunches, collard greens, stalked removed, leaves coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
2 19 oz. cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
Grated Parmesan, for serving
- In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring, until onion is coated, about 30 seconds. Add collard greens, thyme, and red-pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until collards start to wilt, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Place 1/4 of beans in a bowl, and mash them with the back of a spoon (this will help thicken soup). Add all the beans to the pan, as well as tomatoes with juice and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer, until collards are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; serve with grated Parmesan, if desired.