Minestrone with Collard Greens and White Beans

Photo: José Manuel Picayo Rivera
Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
40 mins

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

  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme

  • ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes

  • 2 cans (19 ounces each) white beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 can (14 ½ ounces) diced tomatoes, in juice

  • Grated Parmesan, for serving (optional)


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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