[Recipe] – Warm up a Winter Night: White Bean and Collard Green Soup

We are so excited to start bringing you recipes that you and your family will love.  Our first recipe is from Kawania Wooten of Howerton+Wooten Events. Her White Bean and Collard Green Soup is sure to fill your stomach. Pair it with a glass of wine and some delicious crusty bread for a tasty date night appetizer or a heart warming family meal.

According to Southern tradition, eating a bowl full of collard greens on New Year’s Day is sure to bring you wealth in the coming year, as the collard green leaves look like folded cash.  However, you and your family will feel lucky anytime of the year when you make this dish. It’s filled with nutrients, and it is hearty enough to satisfy you on a chilly January day. 

Ingredients
* ¼ Cup of Bacon Grease
* 5 Strips of Cooked Crispy Bacon, Chopped
* ½ Teaspoon of Crushed Red Pepper
* 2½ Cups of Diced Onions
* ½ Pound of Andouille Sausage Links, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
* 12 Cups of Low Sodium Chicken Stock
* 1 Cup of Dried White Beans (Canellini, Navy, Great Northern, etc.)
* 1 Bunch (or 8 cups) of Collard Green Leaves, washed with the stems removed and chopped
* ¼ Teaspoon of Sugar

Garnish
* Fresh Parmesan Cheese, grated
* Tomatoes, finely diced

Instructions
1. If using dried beans for this soup, soak them overnight in one quart water, drain the beans, and rinse them well. Boil the soaked beans in one quart of water for approximately 50 minutes. Set aside.

2. Place a soup pot over medium to high heat, and add the bacon grease. When the grease is hot, add the bacon, red pepper, and onions with a large pinch of salt. Cook them until the onions start to soften, approximately 3 minutes.

3. Add the sausage, breaking it up in smaller pieces as you place it into the pot.

4. Add the chicken stock and dried beans, and bring the liquid up to a light boil. After the soup comes to a boil, reduce it to a simmer and cook it for 90 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.

5. After 90 minutes, add the sugar and the collard greens to the pot. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cook for another 15 minutes.

6. Serve hot. Garnish with grated cheese and diced tomatoes.

Recipe courtesy of Kawania Wooten of HW Events

Photos by Natarsha N. Wright Photography

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