Need to use up a leftover ham roast and an abundance of swiss chard, kale, or collard greens? The green chile kicks this recipe up a notch and adds depth of flavor.

Ham, White Bean, Greens, and Green Chile Soup

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken meat, or vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups cannellini beans home-cooked, or drained and rinsed canned beans
  • 1 pound leftover ham roast cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 –1 cup New Mexico green chiles depending on desired heat level
  • 4 cups packed swiss chard collard greens, or kale (stems and ribs removed), roughly chopped (2 cups if using frozen greens)

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the onion. Stirring occasionally, cook until translucent, about 5–7 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove and discard bay leaf and add beans, ham, and green chiles. Continue to simmer on medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in greens. Cook, stirring often, until greens are wilted and slightly softened, 2–3 minutes.

Freezing leafy greens for future use: For convenience, you can make this soup with frozen greens, without needing to thaw them beforehand. To freeze, first wash and dry greens. Remove stems, and chop leaves into bite-sized pieces to stop the enzyme action that causes greens to decompose. Spread greens out on a baking sheet lined with parchment and place in the freezer for 2–3 hours. Then transfer into an airtight container and return to the freezer. Store up to 3 months. Add directly into soups and stews without thawing.