Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mmminestrone With Collard Greens and White Beans

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.
My notes: I used 2 15 oz. cans of beans. Where are these magical 19 oz. cans that keep popping up in my recipes? Make sure to clean your greens in several rinses of water, as they can have grit on the leaves. And definitely use the Parmesan, it adds a wonderful flavor. Josh really liked this soup too, and we are both looking forward to enjoying our leftovers for lunch. I think a smaller portion would make a great starter when we have our vegan friends over (minus the cheese for them, of course). And a big, steaming, flavorful bowl is just 260 calories! All those good vitamins and nutrients and so low in calories- you can follow it with a cookie!


Isa said...

Uuuh... I love it! Specially for the low calories thing. Thanks for sharing!

Count Joshula said...

when she told me what was for dinner I thought she was making some kind of obscure reference to a rap song or something, but turned out to be a fantastic meal! yum!

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