If you don’t like mustard greens; try this soup made with fresh mustard greens and ham. You might be surprised that greens are so tasty. I served the soup with pipping hot Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins. Both are easy to make and warm the soul on a cold afternoon.
Fresh Mustard Greens
Fresh mustard greens are tender, not too strongly flavored if cooked properly, very nutritious and low in calories; a healthy food that we should eat more of.
Mustard greens are are best grown in cool weather–plant or transplant them in the fall. Thanks to our mild winter here in Louisiana, the ones I planted last October in my garden just kept growing.
Now the mustard green leaves are gigantic and it is time to use them. The plants are sprouting pretty yellow flowers which means they are going to seed. But if cut back, new leaves should sprout. For comparison, my miniature Dachshund weighs 15 pounds; she just likes to hand out in the yard barking at the squirrels and hoping I will play “fetch”.
Mustard Green and Ham Soup
This soup is easy to make. Traditionally smoked ham hocks are used for the meat with Southern-style boiled mustard greens. A little too fatty for my tastes and ham hocks must be cooked for an hour or so before adding to the soup. Instead, I used cured ham from the deli–ready to use. Smoked ham is delicious if available from your deli. To simplify the recipe, I used canned beans and prepared chicken broth. I find that Swanson chicken broth with less sodium it is consistently good–not greasy or salty, but any chicken broth can be used. Remember that even sodium-reduced chicken broth still has lots of sodium, so no extra salt is needed in the soup. Here are most of the soup ingredients.
Louisiana Food Products
Trappey’s is an old New Iberia, Louisiana-based produced food product company known primarily for hot sauces. The company, formed in the late 1800’s, competed with the Tabasco McIlhenny family brand of hot sauce. Trappey’s also produces canned red beans and other beans. It appears that the company was sold to B&G Foods, Inc., a food conglomerate which markets many food brands. It also appears that the hot sauces are no longer produced in Louisiana; I am sure the northern beans come from somewhere else, too. LouAna® Foods started over a hundred years ago in Opelousas, Louisiana, by Cajun settlers. It began with processing peanut oil, an excellent frying oil, and now has expanded to other oils and foods and is part of the Ventura Food Corp.
How many mustard greens?
Mustard greens shrink when cooked, so a large bunch is needed. One pound of mustard greens as purchased looks like a lot, when the center ribs are trimmed from the leaves the result is about 12 ounces. That’s enough for four to six servings of soup. Here is 12 ounces of trimmed, chopped mustard green leaves.
Here are the same greens cooking in a stock pot. The have already greatly reduced in volume.
Making the soup is straight-forward; it can be prepared in one large stock pot. Chop and saute the onions in oil for 10 minutes until they are translucent in the stock pot. Add the diced ham and saute a few more minutes. Add the chicken broth, mustard greens, beans and a little pepper. Simmer half an hour or longer with the lid partially on. That’s it. Ladle into soup bowls. I like to add vinegar to my greens or perhaps some hot sauce; pass separately.
Mustard Green and Ham Soup
- 1 pound fresh mustard greens
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 pound deli ham, diced
- 32 oz container Swanson sodium-reduced chicken broth
- 1-15.5 oz can great northern beans with liquid
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- vinegar for serving, optional
- hot sauce for serving, optional
Method and Steps
- Wash mustard green leaves and trim center rib from each leaf. Chop leaves into 1 to 2 inch wide strips, set aside.
- In large stock pot on medium high heat, add oil and onions. Stir and cook onions for 10 minutes until translucent. Turn heat down if needed to avoid burning onions.
- Add the chicken broth, chopped mustard green leaves, great northern beans with juice and black pepper. Bring to a boil and boil for 2-3 minutes, stir occasionally.
- Reduce heat, cover partially with lid, and simmer for 30 minutes or longer.
- Ladle into soup bowls and pass vinegar and hot sauce separately.
- Serve with cornbread muffins or cornbread.
Delicious on a cold afternoon! The muffin recipe is given on the accompanying post.
Trappey’s Hot Sauce. Wikipedia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trappey%27s_Hot_Sauce
Trappey’s Fine Foods, Inc. “A spicy life is a happy life.” ©2015 – B&G Foods, Inc. All Rights Reserved. trappeycom/trappeys_products.asps.
LouAnn. © 2015 Ventura Foods, LLC. All rights reserved.louana.com/about-us.aspx
Ventura foods. venturafoods.com