While I made this Rustic White Bean & Greens Heart Healthy Soup two days after January 1st, you could easily serve this on the big day to encourage luck and good fortune!
We, like many of you, enjoy Black-eyed peas or beans, collard greens cooked with ham, and golden cornbread on New Year’s Day. These are after-all good luck foods and lord knows we need all the luck we can get these days.
When I peered into my refrigerator this morning, various bins & containers stared back at me, as if to say “pick me, pick me.” This is a classic eat out of the fridge/pantry recipe. It’s intended to be adapted to ingredients already on hand.
Soup Ingredients & Variations
- Veggies & aromatics – as with most of my soups, I began with diced onion, carrot and garlic. If I had celery I would have added that as well.
- Greens – next came leftover collard greens from New Year’s Day. I also included fresh spinach. Kale or cabbage would have been great additions as well.
- Beans – I chose a can of white beans, but black eyed peas, pintos or your favorite bean works!
- Ham (optional) – our collards had small chunks of ham. You could use ham or bacon or omit for a vegetarian version.
- Broth – I had homemade veggie stock in the freezer. You could use vegetable or chicken broth.
- Seasoning – a little soy sauce (or coconut aminos for GF version) and apple cider vinegar gave this broth a nice umami finish.
- Rustic croutons – I had a nice hunk of Fire Roasted Cheddar Golden Cornbread begging to be included, so I cubed it up and toasted in the oven for about 10 minutes.
Building the Soup
- If serving with rustic cornbread croutons, lay cornbread cubes on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F. for 10 minutes, turning over midway through cooking.
- In a heavy pot or dutch oven, sauté diced onion and carrots in a little olive oil until just tender.
- Stir in a clove or two of garlic and cook an additional minute.
- Add in chopped collard greens (or kale or cabbage), cubed ham (if using), and veggie broth.
- Simmer until collards are tender.
- Add beans and heat through.
- Season with apple cider vinegar and soy sauce (or coconut aminos).
- Finish with a couple handfuls of fresh spinach.
- Serve in big bowls topped with cornbread croutons
Beneficial Heart Healthy Ingredients
- This soup is packed with heart healthy leafy greens which provide our bodies with minerals and vitamins. They’re also high in nitrates which are shown to open blood vessels, encouraging healthy blood flow.
- Beans are also a heart healthy choice, as studies show they can help to reduce cholesterol. If using canned beans look for low sodium or at minimum rinse before adding to your soups.
- Lastly, when making soup from scratch you are able to control the amount of sodium. Homemade Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth are not only economical, but they are a great alternative to boxed or canned broths which tend to have high sodium levels and often contain msg.
As for this incredibly flavorful and satisfying Rustic White Bean & Greens Heart Healthy Soup, I’m serving up big bowls full for lunch! But it also makes a delicious Meatless Monday Meal (omit ham).
And for January, also known as National Soup Month – I hope delicious soups grace your tables all month long. Wishing you heart health and happiness in the New Year!
Looking for soup recipe inspiration? Check out our 50+ Homemade Soup Recipes Roundup!
All my best,
Rustic White Bean & Greens Heart Healthy Soup
For the White Bean & Greens Soup
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 carrots diced
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 cups collard greens, kale and/or cabbage chopped
- 1/2 cup cooked ham (optional) diced
- 1 can white beans, pinto beans, black eyed peas, or favorite beans rinsed and drained
- 4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 Tablespoon coconut aminos (or soy sauce) or to taste
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar or to taste
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves optional
For the Cornbread Croutons
- 1 cup cubed cornbread
For the Soup
- In a 2 or 3 quart heavy pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced carrot and onion and sauté until just tender, about 7-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional minute.
- Add collard greens (or kale or cabbage) and saute another 10 minutes or until just tender. Add ham (if using), rinsed beans and broth. Bring to a gentle simmer. Add coconut aminos (or soy) and apple cider vinegar, adjust to taste. Finish by adding fresh spinach just before serving.
- Serve in big bowls topped with cornbread croutons (optional).
For the Cornbread Croutons
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Cut cornbread into 1-inch cubes. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time.