Greens and pork have an uncanny affinity for each other. Here's a tasty, hearty soup that you can easily make with or without the pork.
CourseMain Dish, Soup
2Tbspextra virgin olive oil
1wholeonion, thinly sliced
2small carrots, sliced into coins
6cupswater or chicken broth
2cupscooked (or canned) white beans
1mediumham hock or shank(optional)
4-5crushedcanned plum tomatoes
1/3cooked greens(kale or collards work well)
1 pinchsalt and black pepper, to taste
2tspfresh parsley and basil, chopped
1/2cupparmesan, freshly grated(optional)
Heat a large, heavy pot on MEDIUM, and when hot, add oil; when it shimmers, add onion, celery, and carrot. Fry until onion softens.
Add broth or water, cooked beans, thyme, bay, ham bone, tomatoes, and tomato liquid. Lower heat to MEDIUM-LOW, and simmer, partly covered, for 30 minutes.
Taste to see if soup liquid is flavorful. If it is, add greens, cook for 5 minutes, and then add seasonings to taste. Just before serving the soup, add chopped parsley and basil. (If liquid is not yet flavorful enough, continue cooking for another 10 minutes.) If you are not using the ham bone, grate Parmesan and add to soup before serving—this will give the soup a fine flavor.
Here's a tasty, hearty soup that you can easily make with or without the pork.