Long time no see friends! Writing has taken a backseat to loads of other demands lately, but we are still eating good!
We dug up a little patch of grass on the sunny-side of our yard back in February to test out some new stuff. We planted corn, beets, collards, green onion, arugula, strawberries, cilantro and cauliflower. Since we have only lived in this house about a year, it has taken us that long to figure out where stuff will grow. The concept of “right plant, right place” is essential in Permaculture and was the first lesson I learned as a Master Gardener. All the fancy tricks in the world won’t help you grow stuff that doesn’t want to be there!
Good news is, stuff wanted to grow here! In about 6 weeks (from wee seedlings) we got all this! I’ve never grown collard greens before (and only eaten them when served to me!) so I was excited to try out some recipes. The traditionally Southern way of eating collards with loads of pork and chicken broth wasn’t going to work for us so I headed to the kitchen to experiment. I found the taste of the collards to be really good in these simple recipes. Not much added “flavor” was needed at all. Even our 4.5 year old like the creamy soup and asked for seconds!
Only two plants yielded a huge amount! After cutting the thick stems, and chopping the leaves, I stuffed two gallon size bags full. Collards pack a big nutritional punch too. Check out the chart on this page for amazing facts.
One bag became Hearty Collard Stew.
About a week later I made the other bag into Cream of Collard Soup.
Recipes (if you can call it that!)
Hearty Collard Stew (for a 6-8 people or for freezing)
Vegetable broth or water with seasoning
Gallon size bag of collards (with thick stems removed and chopped into about 1 inch pieces)
1 large onion, chopped
4-6 Carrots, sliced
1-2 large Potatoes, cubed
1 can or 1.5 cups cooked beans of your choice (I used pinto)
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 tbsp of lemon juice of white vinegar
Saute the onion and garlic over a little oil or in a thin layer of water in a large pot.
Add collards and cover with broth or water, bring to a boil the reduce to simmer for at least 45 minutes (probably more like an hour or hour and fifteen minutes. Collards are tough!)
When they are nice and soft (you might have to add liquid) add carrots, potatoes and cook for another 15-20 minutes. Add beans last.
Salt and pepper to taste!
Cream of Collard Soup (for 4-6 people or for freezing)
Water or vegetable broth
1 gallon size bag of collards, (stems removed and cut into 1 inch pieces)
1 cup cashews
1-2 tbsp onion flakes (or sauté some onion)
1-2 tbsp garlic powder (or sauté some garlic)
Place 1 cup cashews and 1 cup water into your blender and set aside. Do not blend yet.
Place collards in a large pot, place enough liquid in the pot to boil them (about half way up the side of the pot) As they cook, you can add more liquid). Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for over 1 hour.
Cube the potato and add. Cook for another 20 minutes or so. Add onion, garlic or other seasonings.
Blend your cashews and water VERY thoroughly. Can add a drizzle more of water if it’s too thick, but the consistency should be that of heavy dairy cream.
If you have a good immersion blender use that, if not, pour the cashew cream into the warm pot of collards, stir, then put in batches into the blender. I had to do two batches. Puree well. It should be a thick, creamy soup.
Serve warm and salt to taste 🙂