Beans and Greens Soup - a great winter soup featuring dried great northern beans and turnip greens. Economical and nutritious!
We've started the new year off with some cool, rainy days. The kind of days that are just meant for a pot of soup bubbling away on the stove.
I enjoy soup all year, but especially in the winter. It's warm, nourishing, and so 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 ones are about ⅓ 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 also help to maintain and promote muscle and provide a great energy source.
How to Make Beans and Greens Soup
The beans that I use in this recipe come with a flavoring packet included. Remove the packet and set it aside to use later in the recipe.
Prepare the Beans
Rinse the beans in a colander and remove any that are broken or discolored. I rarely find many imperfect beans in a package - maybe two or three - but they are a raw agricultural product so it's important to check them before use.
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 it 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 everything to a boil.
Add the Spices
I used a tablespoon of herbes de Provence in my recipe because I just love that combination. It gives my soup just a little French flair. (Then, of course, the Southerner in me comes out and I pour in a whole bag full of turnip greens.)
However, if you don't have herbes de Provence in your pantry, you can add some Italian seasoning or just some thyme and a bay leaf. It'll be just as good. Promise.
Add the Ham
I used a half pound of diced ham available in the meat market at my grocery store. You could also purchase a ham steak and cut into dice. Or, if you have leftover ham, this would be a great way to use it!
Add the Greens
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 and a whole heck of a lot easier.
Cook for One Hour
With all the ingredients in the pot, bring the soup to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a steady simmer, not too low, and cook, covered, for an additional hour or until the beans are tender. Add the salt and flavoring packet near the end of the cooking time.
Substitute Your Favorite Greens
I used turnip greens in this recipe simply because they're one of my favorites. They have a mild flavor when used in this soup, so if you prefer a more bold taste you might prefer to use collard greens or kale. I'm guessing that even green cabbage or spinach would be good here as well. Just use any green leafy veggie that your family likes.
Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls. Top each serving with diced fresh tomato and green onion.
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Beans and Greens Soup
- 20 oz. dried Great Northern beans with seasonings (HamBeens brand recommnded)
- ½ large red onion diced
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tbsp herbes de Provence (or Italian seasoning)
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 8 oz. diced ham
- 1 lb. turnip greens cleaned and cut
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp salt
- Diced fresh tomato for garnish
- Diced green onion for garnish
- 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.
- 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.
- Ladle into individual serving bowls. Top each serving with diced fresh tomato and green onion.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
-- This post was originally published on January 13, 2013 and sponsored by HamBeens