Will stayed home sick today from work, so I cooked him a hearty winter soup packed full of vitamins when I got home. It was pretty easy to make since I already had some ingredients sitting around at home.
1 bunch collard greens
1 bunch swiss chard
1 medium-sized carrot
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more to taste)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp aleppo pepper (optional)
half a lemon
1 can cannellini beans
2 cups broth
2 cups water
1 handful whatever leftover dried pasta is around
salt, pepper, and olive oil
In a soup pot, pour in enough olive oil to cover the bottom and put it on medium-low heat. Dice the onion and put in the oil. Put in a pinch of salt and pepper and stir. Do the same for the carrots which go in right after the onions. Stir and let them soften. In the meantime, wash the greens and separate the stems of the chard. Dice the chard stems into the same size as the carrots and onions and put them in and give them a stir.
While the onions, carrots, and stems are cooking down, wash and shake dry the rest of the greens. I separated the collards from their stems and discarded the stems. Roughly chop the leaves. They can be left pretty large since they shrink while cooking.
When the onions and stems are tender, throw in the rest of the leaves and give it a stir. Then put in the cayenne pepper, aleppo pepper (if you have it) and stir to combine. Once the leaves are wilted and tender, open the can of beans and pour that in, soaking liquid and all. I guess you can rinse the beans, but I think the liquid gives the soup a nice thickness.
Pour in the broth and water and stir to combine. Put the pasta in, cover the pot, leaving the lid ajar so it doesn’t boil over, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the pasta is done. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon, add more salt and pepper to taste, ladle into bowls and then serve with some crusty bread. I had some cheese in the fridge, so I grated that over the soup.
I initially was going to put a teaspoon or so of tomato paste to brown with the onions to give the soup more flavor, but in retrospect that’s not needed at all. The chard stems and all the other vegetables already have plenty of flavor.