Green Beans and Greens Soup
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
This simple rustic soup is made up of green beans, chard, and potato that all turn tender and soft once the soup is ready to eat. Underlying their earthy vegetableness is meaty flavor thanks to a few simmering chunks of prosciutto, there for the greater good of the soup. When served, I like to see that the once-bright greens have dulled in color because it says their flavor has fully developed inside the pot. Grated Parmesan served on the side for sprinkling is a good addition, or try shredded sharp provolone or mozzarella strewn over their tops.
Dry the greens well so the soup flavor doesn’t become diluted.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe Coursehot appetizer
Dietary Considerationhot appetizer
Mealbrunch, dinner, lunch
Taste and Texturegarlicky, savory
Type of Dishhot soup
- 3-ounce chunk prosciutto, preferably cut from shank end
- 1 medium onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- ½ pound green beans
- 1 pound chard or beet greens, coarse stems trimmed
- 1 medium to large boiling potato
- 2 tablespoons butter
- One 14½-ounce can chicken broth (1¾ cups)
Cut prosciutto into 4 pieces. Chop onion and garlic. Snap ends, then cut green beans into 1-inch lengths. Wash greens, dry, and chop. Peel potato, cut into ½-inch dice, and keep in bowl covered by cold water.
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add prosciutto, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion and garlic begin to turn translucent but do not brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in green beans and greens. Stew together, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Drain potato and add to pot. Add broth plus ½ cup hot water. Simmer until potato is tender, about 15 minutes.
Discard prosciutto pieces. Season generously with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
Variations for Green Beans and Greens Soup
Replace the butter and prosciutto with bacon fat alone or the prosciutto with a few chunks of smoked ham.
Leave out the meat and make the soup with vegetable broth.
Add a rind of Parmesan or two to the soup as it cooks instead of serving grated cheese on the side.
Dressing Green Beans and Greens Soup Up: When serving, dress up the soup with fresh basil in one of three ways:
(1) Add chopped leaves to each bowlful.
(2) Puree a handful of leaves with a little olive oil in a blender, then drizzle the green oil over the tops.
(3) Spoon a dollop of pesto over each serving.
2005 Leslie Revsin