Yes, I am from Alabama, so why “Georgia” collards and bean soup? Well, the collards themselves (the seeds I planted) are Georgia Collards. They are hardy and make an exceptionally hearty soup, especially with the beans and sausage.
One of my favorite things about this soup is that it simple, simple, simple and fast! I often-times use my homemade sausage to cut the slight bitterness of the collards, but smoked Kielbasa is my favorite choice from the store. The beans add a creaminess that makes this soup a bonafide comfort food.
The toast is another perk to this dish. It adds that texture (crunch) that accentuates the “comfort” part of this dish. Sprinkled with Parmesan and drizzled with sage butter…well, that’s just about outrageous with flavor!
Although I love having quick access to my fresh collards and dried beans from the summer as well as homemade sausage, the flavors are just about as good and certainly as easy to use when bought from the store. You can use pre-washed collards, canned cannelloni beans, and smoked Kielbasa sausage from your local market. Not only is this soup easy to make, it’s crazy healthy! It is packed full of vitamins A, C, K, and manganese.
If using fresh collards, wash them thoroughly…it’s easy, I’ll show you how. Once they are washed, this recipe takes only about 35 minutes from start to finish. By roasting some of the ingredients in the oven while cooking others on the stove top, you cut the total cooking time way down.
This hearty dish is one of my “go to” favorites for entertaining. I can make this a day or two ahead only leaving me the toast with sage butter the make the day of the gathering. What more can you ask? I promise, you won’t be disappointed in this amazing dish whether it’s just for you, for your family, or for a gathering. I hope this becomes a staple in your home – from my home to yours…
How to Freeze Greens and Bean Soup
This soup is one of my favorite meals to make ahead and freeze for later. When I need a cozy, healthy, no-fuss meal, all I have to do is thaw it and add some crusty bread. To freeze the soup:
- Place a gallon or quart-sized ziptop bag into a bowl.
- Cuff the top of the bag around the top of the bowl.
- Add the soup to the bag and leave about an inch of headspace at the top. Lock the bag in place with the soup in it.
- Lay the bag flat in the freezer on a sheet pan until completely frozen. Once frozen, date the bags and stack them in the freezer. They will be good for up to 6 months.
How to Thaw the Soup
To thaw your collards and bean soup, just place the ziptop bag with the soup in a bowl in the fridge. Alternatively, you can remove the top from the ziptop bag and place the frozen soup in a saucepan and heat over low heat until the soup is thawed. Then raise the temperature to medium and cook until heated through.
Georgia Collards and Bean Soup
- 2½ pounds collard greens
- 2 pounds Italian or kielbasa smoked sausage
- 1 quart (or 28-oz cacrushed tomatoes
- 1 leaves small bunch fresh oregano 18 to 20
- 8 cloves garlic peeled and sliced
- Olive oil for sautéing and drizzling
- 1 sweet onion diced
- 2 quarts or 2 32-oz container chicken or vegetable stock
- 4 cups cooked or canned cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 2 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 10 slices sourdough bread
- Grated parmesan cheese
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 10 leaves fresh sage
- Tabasco sauce optional
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Thoroughly wash and dry collards. In batches, stack collards then roll them lengthwise and cut them across the width into 1/2 inch ribbons.
- Slice sausage on the bias into one-inch pieces and place in a 10×13 casserole dish along with tomatoes, oregano, and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until sausage is cooked through.
- Meanwhile, drizzle olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add half the collard greens, half the stock the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until collards wilt a bit (making room for more). Add remaining collards and stock, and continue to cook until the collards are wilted and tender, about 15 minutes. Add beans, salt, and pepper, then cook uncovered until heated through (about 2 minutes).
- Pour sausage, tomato, and garlic mixture into the collards mixture and gently stir to combine. Cook another 10 minutes over low heat. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- To make the sage butter, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, removing any foam from the butter with a spoon. Turn the heat up to medium-high and place the sage leaves in the butter for about 2 minutes or until crisp. Remove leaves and place on a paper towel.
- Toast bread and rub garlic over the top. Ladle soup into bowls, top with toast and parmesan cheese, then drizzle with sage butter. Serve with a sage leaf and a few drops of Tabasco sauce (if desired).