Wednesday, October 14, 2009

white bean and mustard green soup with ham

My box came with all sorts of delights this week (and perhaps a little more delightful because I've missed the past couple of deliveries due to travel) including mustard greens. A member of the cabbage family, they best sauteed or added to soups and should be used soon after buying. Because of mustard greens ability to extract heavy metals from soil (great removal technique) I suggest only using organic greens. This soup only used a portion of the greens, so I will be eating them in other incarnations too.

The soup is perfect for the coming on of winter with it's thick consistency and warmth. I used ham but turkey can substitute or eliminate the meat if you prefer. My favorite dried bean is the white bean which was a huge inspiration for this soup.

White Bean and Mustard Green Soup with Ham
2 t. olive oil
1 c. onion, diced
1 carrot, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. baked ham, diced
1 t. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
4 c. cooked white beans, rinsed and drained (1 lb. dried beans or 2 cans of pre-cooked beans)
4 c. chicken stock (or preferred)
4 c. chopped fresh mustard greens, washed and dried (leaves only, not stems)
salt + black pepper, to taste
grated parmesan cheese, to garnish/serve

1. Heat oil in large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and saute for 3 minutes, until soft. Add ham and garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in thyme and bay leaves, then add beans* and broth. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover pot, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaves.

2. Add mustard greens and simmer until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and season with salt and black pepper. Serve with grated parmesan. Bon appetite!

*dried beans: during last 30-60 minutes of cooking add salt, pepper, onion, garlic and bay leaves to flavor the beans. Adjust these ingredients in final recipe if necessary (I didn't, though).

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