Monday, January 01, 2007

Rustic Greens Soup with Garlic Toast

That's right ... go buy a big bunch of greens at the market ... be it collard, dandelion or mustard. This soup is quick and very easy ... makes four dinner size servings.
I'm adapting this from a recipe I saw on the cooking channel. Since this is the beginning to a new year, why not treat yourself to something tasty that is also very good for you. I just made it for lunch and have made it many times in the past. Of course, my kids don't like rustic greens, but they really should eat them.


1 bunch of greens, washed and loosely chopped - 4 to 6 cups
2 slices bacon, fat trimmed and cut up, or two slices prosciutto
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped (use the real stuff ... not the stuff in a bottle or jar)
2 stalks celery, rustic chopped
2 pieces of lemon peel (no white)
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning ... I just used thyme ... rosemary would be good too
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1 quart carton of good quality chicken broth
1 16 ounce can of great northern beans (white), rinsed and drained well
Parmesan cheese, grated or shaved


In a large dutch oven or deep sided pan, add the olive oil and saute the trimmed bacon (about 5 minutes til nearly crisp. Toss in the celery and garlic ... and then the greens. Continue to saute for a few minutes then add the broth, beans, lemon peel, herbs, salt and pepper. (Remove lemon peel before serving.) Depending on what type of greens you used, cook for just a few minutes (5-10) ... but don't over do it. Serve steaming hot topped with some fresh shavings of Parmesan cheese and a toasty wedge of rustic garlic bread.

Rustic Garlic Bread (low-fat)

4 slices of a good whole grain or sprouted bread
2 teaspoons butter
1 large clove of garlic, peeled

Toast the bread in a toaster making sure it's fairly well toasted. As soon as the toast pops up, rub the clove of garlic over the top of each piece (the heat & crispiness from the toast will "melt" the garlic); spread each piece with 1/2 teaspoon of butter. Great to dunk in soup.

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