White Bean and Greens Soup

White beans and greens is one of my favorite combinations ; it makes great soup and can also top pasta or become a dip for crusty bread at parties. This soup version can be adapted for whatever greens are on hand.  If using collards, your cooking time will be slightly longer than for kale, spinach or chard.


1 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

2 stalks celery, diced

2 medium carrots, diced

1 1/2 qts (6 cups) water

2 15-oz cans cannelini beans (or 4 cups cooked white beans)

5 large cloves garlic, minced

1 head escarole or bunch collards, kale, chard , chopped w/ stems removed

minced parsley (garnish, optional)

grated hard cheese (garnish, optional)


Heat the oil in a large pot. Add onion, bay leaf, celery, carrots and salt and saute over medium heat 10 minutes, until onions are translucent.  Add water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until everything is very tender. Add beans, garlic, and as much of the greens as fit. If necessary, wait 5 minutes until the greens begin to cook down to add more in batches.  When greens are tender (5 minutes for kale or chard, 15+ minutes for collards), add pepper to taste. Serve with fresh parsley and grated cheese.

Adapted from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen

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