I know someone out there is probably saying, “What, another soup that looks like grass clippings?!” I have to beg your indulgence because yes this soup does, in a way, contain grass clippings or, more precisely, garden clippings. You see, I have a small garden plot that’s filled with collard greens that need to be eaten immediately. The plants have started to bolt, growing up tall and thin and sporting flowers that look a little like broccoli. It’s the end of the line for them, so I’m harvesting them as fast as possible to make room for my summer garden.
I used about a third of my collards in this recipe, which can easily be made with other greens. I cooked them in a pressure cooker to save time, but use a regular pot if you don’t have a PC (see the instructions below). I assure you it’s much tastier–and healthier–than grass clippings!
Collard Greens and White Bean Soup
You can cut the time in half by using a pressure cooker, but stove top works just as well.
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 1-1 1/2 pounds collards, kale, chard, or other greens tough ribs discarded and leaves chopped
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 2 carrots sliced about 1/4-inch thick
- 4 cups fat-free vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 2 15-ounce cans white beans such as Great Northern beans, drained
- 2-4 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon thyme additional
- 1/4-1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika or chipotle chili powder adjust to your personal heat level
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- vegan Parmesan optional
Heat a pressure cooker and add onion. Cook, stirring, until onion is tender, adding water by the tablespoon to prevent sticking. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Put the next 5 ingredients into pressure cooker and seal. Bring to high pressure and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and release pressure manually. (Set manual setting on electric pressure cooker for 5 minutes then quick release pressure. If cooking without a pressure cooker, cook covered in a large pot until collards are tender, about 30 minutes.)
Add the beans, 2 cups of water or broth, and the remaining seasonings. Simmer for at least 20 minutes to allow flavors to combine. (Use saute or brown setting on electric pressure cooker on lowest temperature available.) While cooking, add additional water or broth if the soup seems too dry. Serve topped with vegan parmesan, if desired.