Spring Greens: Homemade Minestrone Soup Recipe

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Photo by Vladimir Semenov/Fotolia
This Homemade Minestrone Soup Recipe is a classic Southern comfort.

Antioxidant-rich collard greens and black-eyed peas transport this classic soup with ingredients inspired by Southern cuisine. Cooking collard greens briefly (5 to 10 minutes) will help keep this flavorful, nutritional superstar at its best. To make this hearty soup vegetarian, omit the sausage and sauté vegetables in 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil. HOMEMADE MINESTRONE SOUP SERVES 6

• 8 ounces turkey or chicken Italian sausage, sliced
• 2 large carrots, chopped
• 2 leeks, cleaned and chopped, white and light green parts only
• 2 celery stalks, chopped
• 1 to 2 hot peppers (such as serrano), seeded and finely chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 bunch collard greens, chopped (about 4 to 5 cups)
• 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
• 1 teaspoon oregano
• 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
• Scant 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed

1. In a large Dutch oven or pot, sauté sausage, carrots, leeks, celery, peppers and garlic over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are just tender and sausage is cooked through. Add collard greens and sauté for 1 minute.

2. Stir in chicken broth, oregano, rosemary, black pepper and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 8 minutes until greens are nearly tender.

3. Stir in black-eyed peas and heat through, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Serve Homemade Minestrone Soup while hot.

Kris Wetherbee is a contributing editor who lives and tends her herbs in western Oregon.

Click here for the main article, Healthy and Delicious Spring Greens.

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