Minestrone with Collard Greens and White Beans
Instead of the usual escarole or kale, use hearty collards in this familiar soup. The greens' slight bitterness plays nicely against the creamy beans and sweet tomatoes.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 pound (about 2 bunches) collard greens, stalks removed, leaves coarsely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 2 cans (19 ounces each) white beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, in juice
- Grated Parmesan, for serving (optional)
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring, until onion is coated, about 30 seconds. Add collard greens, thyme, and red-pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until collards start to wilt, 2 to 4 minutes.
Place 1/4 of beans in a bowl, and mash them with the back of a spoon (this will help thicken soup). Add all the beans to the pan, as well as tomatoes with juice and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer, until collards are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; serve with grated Parmesan, if desired.