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Collard Green Soup: The Southern/Spanish Comfort Food Staple of my Childhood

There wasn't too much that my mom couldn't get me to eat as a kid. I don't know how she did it but I can tell you that there was definitely no force-feeding going on in my home. There wasn't too much of the "If you don't eat your veggies, you can't have dessert" bribes/ultimatums going on either. But whatever my sweet mama did to "train" our palates worked. I can only hope I'm as lucky with my own kids' tastebuds one day.

We were treated with McDonalads happy meals maybe three times a year for excellent behavior and report card grades. Pizza and/or taco nights only happened like once every two weeks. Oh, and all those processed Little Debbie snacks (and the like); well, they simply didn't exist in my home. I don't recall ever throwing hissy fits over our home's healthy eating standards. It was just an unspoken rule that our family would (almost) always eat healthfully. While my mom was incredibly laid-back and sweet-natured, we just never fought her on it. 


Growing up, one of my favorite meals of my mom's was something that would frighten most 10-year-olds. Collard Green Soup. She was famous for the stuff. Made (but modified) from her beloved Gasparilla Cookbook, the soup was one that never got old. Heck, she'd even have friends and neighbors begging for a mere bowl when they heard she had made a pot. There was a similar reaction to her Spanish Bean Soup too. But I'll save that treasured recipe for another day. 


I don't know if the concoction is considered Spanish with its chorizo sausage and bay leaves, or Southern with its collard greens and ham bone. I think I'd venture to deem it Spanish. I'm sure there's an answer to my long-time confusion but since I'd trust my mom's response more than Google's, I guess the Spanish or Southern soup personal "controversy" will have to remain a mystery. 

Collard Green Soup


2 cans Northern Beans

2 potatoes, diced

2 quarts water

2 packages frozen collard greens

1 ham bone with lots of meat left on it

1 bay leaf

½ yellow onion, chopped

1 tsp. salt

½ green pepper, chopped

3 tablespoons EVOO

2 Goya Spanish chorizo sausages, sliced in ¼ inch rounds


1) In a large pot, put water, ham bone, bay leaf and salt. Bring to a boil, removing foam with a skimmer.

2) Lower heat and simmer approximately 30 minutes.

3) Add beans, potatoes and collard greens to the pot. With a large fork, pull ham from bone. stirring the pieces in the soup. 

4) In a separate sauté pan, sauté onions, green pepper and sausage in the EVOO. When onions and peppers are soft, add to collard greens. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. (This eliminates bitterness from the greens).

5) Cover the pot and simmer until the potatoes and greens are done.

6) Enjoy!!

***Makes 6-8 servings.


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