Beans and Greens Soup

by Lana Stuart on January 15, 2013 · 10 comments

Beans and Greens Soup

What a weird winter this is turning out to be. Last weekend we had temperatures in the 70′s. The 70′s, y’all. In January. We do have mild winters here in Georgia, but 70′s in early January…that’s just strange. It was so warm on Sunday that BeeBop and Uncle J went gem hunting. In short sleeves. They had a great time and brought back some fantastic gems including a huge amethyst. I see a bracelet in my future :-)

So after a nice, warm January weekend, now it’s raining. Gray, gloomy, overcast, drizzly. Perfect for ducks…nasty for the rest of us. Even our little shih tzu Lucy just sticks her nose out the garage and sniffs disgustedly at this weather.

Days like today just beg for a pot of soup bubbling away on the stove. I enjoy soup all year, but especially in the winter. It’s warm. It’s nourishing. It’s comforting. And it’s usually budget-friendly. And who doesn’t need budget friendly meals right after Christmas?

One of my favorite ingredients to use in soup is dried beans. Talk about economical! When you compare dried beans to canned, the dried are about 1/3 the cost. And they’re little powerhouses of nutrition, too. They’re just full of protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, and important vitamins and minerals. Beans help maintain and promote muscle and provide a great energy source.

HamBeens Logo

My favorite brand of dried beans, and the one I find easily at every grocery store, is HamBeens® from the N. K. Hurst company. I know you’ve seen them in your store, too. They have many, many different varieties including the Great Northerns with Ham Flavor® that I used in this recipe.

Prepping beans for Beans and Greens Soup

The package of HamBeens® Great Northern beans comes with a ham flavoring packet included. Remove the packet and set it aside to use later in the recipe. Rinse the beans and remove any that are broken or discolored. I never find many imperfect beans in a package – maybe two or three. Place the dried beans in a large soup pot or Dutch oven and add enough water to come at least 2” above the top of the beans. Bring the beans to a rolling boil over high heat. Remove the pot from the heat and let sit for one hour. Do not drain.

After an hour, place the beans and water back over high heat. Add the red onion, celery, garlic, herbs, pepper, ham, turnip greens, and red pepper to the pot and bring it all to a boil.

Now, I used a tablespoon of herbes de Provence in my recipe because I just love that combination. It gave my soup just a little French flair. Then, of course, the Southerner in me came out and poured in a whole bag full of turnip greens. However, if you don’t have herbes de Provence in your pantry, just add some thyme and a bay leaf. It’ll be just as good. Promise.

Ham for Beans and Greens Soup

I used a half pound of diced ham available in the meat market at my grocery store. If you have leftover ham, this would be a great way to use it!

Turnip Greens for Beans and Greens Soup

I also used a bag of the washed, cut turnip greens that are so convenient. Why not take some help from the grocery store once in a while, huh? They’re not much more expensive than the whole, fresh ones.

Everything in the pot for Beans and Greens SoupEverything in the pot for Beans and Greens Soup

Cover the pot and reduce the heat so that the soup remains at a steady simmer, not too low, and cook for an additional hour or until the beans are tender. Add the salt and ham flavor packet near the end of the cooking time.

I used turnip greens in this recipe simply because they’re one of my favorites. They have a quite mild flavor when used in this soup, so if you prefer a more bold taste of greens you might want to use collard greens or kale. I’m guessing that even green cabbage would be good here as well. Just use any green leafy veggie that your family likes.

Ladle into individual serving bowls. Top each serving with diced fresh tomato and green onion.

Enjoy!

Note: I am required by FTC rules to disclose that I will receive compensation from the N. K. Hurst Co. for this post. However, any opinions expressed in the post are strictly my own. Always have been. Always will be.

Beans and Greens Soup

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 25 minutes

Beans and Greens Soup

Nutritious, warm, thrifty, and delicious! Perfect winter soup using economical dried beans and turnip greens.

Ingredients

  • 1 20 oz. package HamBeens Great Northern beans with ham flavor
  • 1/2 large red onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tblsp. herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 8 oz. diced ham
  • 1 lb. cleaned, sliced turnip greens
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tblsp. kosher salt
  • Diced fresh tomato, for garnish
  • Diced green onion, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place the beans in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Set the ham flavor packet aside to use later in the recipe. Add water to a level 2” above the top of the beans. Bring beans to a rolling boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and let sit for one hour. Do not drain.
  2. Place the beans and water back over high heat. Add the red onion, celery, garlic, herbs, pepper, ham, turnip greens, and red pepper to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat so that the soup remains at a steady simmer, not too low, and cook for an additional hour or until the beans are tender. Add the salt and ham flavor packet near the end of the cooking time.
  3. Ladle into individual serving bowls. Top each serving with diced fresh tomato and green onion.

Notes

Turnip greens are very mild in flavor when used in a soup like this. For a more robust taste, consider using collard greens or kale.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Clint January 15, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Lana, this looks great – not to completely unlike the hoppin john I made for New Years (though obviously with black eyed peas).

Hey, being a little less Euro than y’all, I’m not familiar with herbes de Provence, and will substituting with a bay leaf and thyme. How much thyme are you thinking for this?

Thanks for your great site!!

Reply

2 Lana January 15, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Hi Clint. Thanks for asking about the herbes de Provence. I’d suggest trying about 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried thyme and 1 bay leaf. If you have it, a little dried savory or marjoram in addition would be nice.

Reply

3 Gail Joyner January 15, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Just wanted to say I really enjoy your website. It reminds me of my late husbands cooking. He was also a Southern Gent. I am a New Englander and was introduced to southern cooking via hubby.

Reply

4 Lana January 16, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Thanks so much, Gail. I’m glad you enjoy the blog.

Reply

5 Sues January 16, 2013 at 5:53 pm

This looks awesome and so pretty! It was 60 degrees here in Boston on Monday. Today? Snow and freezing. Blerg.

Reply

6 Lana January 16, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Weird weather for sure! We were about 73 on Sunday and supposed to have sleet and snow tomorrow.

Reply

7 Miss P January 16, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Well, it was about 80 degrees here today. Tomorrow’s high is forecast for the 50′s with rain and a 35% chance of snow. Whoa Nelly!

This would be just the soup for a cold wet day.

Miss P

Reply

8 Lana January 16, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Whoa! Snow down there?!? Stay off the roads!

Reply

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