Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Minestrone Soup with Collard Greens

This light soup comes together pretty quick and has deep, rich flavor.  Perfect for a cold evening or a simple but satisfying lunch.  I ended up having this for lunch for a few days in a row and found that with a little bit of foccacia, my afternoon hunger cravings were mostly at bay.  This vegetarian soup would make a nice starter for a dinner party or even a simple lunch with friend when paired with some salad and crusty bread.  Clean, fresh flavors from the greens and tomato go nicely with the beans, and the whole thing is well seasoned and tasty.

The impetus behind this recipe comes from receiving a bunch of collard greens in my CSA box and not knowing what to do with them.  Having never prepared them before, I really didn't know where to start, but a quick spin of the internet told me how to prep them and then I found this recipe from Martha Stewart and knew this would be a perfect introduction to collard greens as well as a soup I haven't had a chance to make before.  I didn't make any changes to the recipe (hard to improve on Martha, right?) but I can definitely see myself making this again.  Perhaps my CSA box will give me a bounty of kale or escarole so I can try a more traditional approach to this delicious soup.

Minestrone Soup with Collard Greens


1 pound collard greens
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 15 ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
14.5 ounces diced tomatoes
4 cups water
grated Parmesan, for garnish

To prep greens, pull stem down to separate from leaves.  Tear leafs into coarse pieces, place in a salad spinner, rinse and spin off excess moisture.  Alternatively, rinse in a strainer, shake off excess water and blot leaves with paper towels.  Set aside.

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Chop onion and mince garlic and add to pot.  Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste and stir to coat, cooking about 30 seconds.  Add greens, thyme, and red pepper flakes, continuing to stir and cook for another 2-4 minutes until greens are gently wilted.

In a small bowl, mash about 1/4 of the beans with a fork or potato masher.  Add mashed beans, whole beans, diced tomatoes (with liquid), and water to the pot.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Divide among bowls and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Makes 6 servings.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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