Collard Greens and Thanksgiving Soup

By Molly & Brian Lex

What’s growing in the garden? Well we’ve been eating a lot of greens this month! Mustard greens and collard greens are just a couple of goodies that are growing rapidly in our garden right now. They’re thicker and heartier than spinach and can hold up to an all-day simmering. Brian and I are both teachers, and we have to wake up early to get out the door, so we’ve been utilizing the crockpot to get our greens on.

I like to throw some mustard greens (I prefer collard greens! -Brian) in a crockpot with just enough chicken broth to submerge the leaves. Add a quartered half yellow onion, 4 or so smashed cloves of garlic, an optional piece of salt pork (It isn’t as healthy, but it’s really tasty. -Brian) some salt and pepper to taste, and five or seven shots of Tabasco sauce for some extra zip. Set it on low all day and when you get home and want to get dinner on the table, whatever your meal may be, your greens are like buttah.

You can eat them with the broth like a soup, or you can strain it and plate it. These greens don’t shrink up like spinach; they’re hearty! Collard greens are like greens on steroids they really hold up better and they have a meatier texture; there’s some girth to the leaf. Also, they’re super good for you and have a lot of iron and calcium and stuff. You know, beneficial goodness.

Also, happy Thanksgiving! When Brian and I were first married, we spent Thanksgiving with his family. I was able to introduce them to a long-standing Johnson family tradition called Thanksgiving Soup. It was passed down from my mother, and mind you, I know everybody is used to the standard leftover turkey soup, but this is EVERYTHING. There’s no clear broth happening in this soup. Brian says that it’s kind of a dump truck soup, everybody in the pool! Don’t stop at throwing the carcass in the water to make a broth. Whatever your traditional family dishes may be, throw them in! You can toss in the green bean casserole, the leftover dressing, the mashed potatoes, the cauliflower and broccoli with cheese sauce, the gravy, the kitchen sink; whatever’s leftover except for the pie! At first you might be like, wha?! But trust us, it’s amazing! Brian looks forward to it almost as much as dinner now. Ahh Thanksgiving élan! Panache! Fervor!

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