A couple of weekends ago, the kids, Josh, and I shopped our local farmers market for the first time in a long while. Although fewer than normal vendors were present, there was still a lot of delicious, fresh produce available. This was a very good sign, especially since it will not be long before some great produce comes into season. Our greatest score of the trip was, without a doubt, the enormous bag of collard greens we bought. We almost felt like we were stealing. For a very small price, we came away with greens that likely weighed more than our nearly 2 year old daughter. The kicker was they cost only $3.50!
Do you see the giant phone book bag he's putting the collard greens into? It was barely sufficient.
This farmer also carried some potatoes, so we obliged to purchase a few. Like the collards and most other items we've purchased from the farmer's market, we came away with high quality loot at a fraction of grocery store prices. They did make an excellent Crockpot potato and collard soup!
After returning home, we stripped the leaves from the stems and gave the greens a good bath. This effort is completely worth the upgrade in quality, freshness, and price. We've noticed in the past that vegetables like these somehow last two weeks longer in our fridge (if they do) compared to what we buy at any store.
After washing, we started to think about how we would prepare the zillion pounds of collard greens this week. Like the rest of the US, we're still weathering the cold. Not to mention I am not a huge fan of cold weather, especially when it stretches this far into March. Plus, if you read this blog you know I love soups and stews, so I knew that would be the fate for at least some of the greens.
So, let's get to it, and make some delicious and satisfying Crockpot potato and collard soup.
Before I forget, thank you to my pal Emily McLaren for your help with Crockpot cooking times for the lentils!
Crockpot Potato and Collard Soup
- 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 bunch of collard greens (about 4 packed cups), washed, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 3 medium russet baking potatoes, diced into bite size pieces
- 8-10 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 32 oz box of vegetable broth (or equal amt. of homemade veggie broth)
- 3 cups of water
- 1 cup red lentils*
- 1 TBS fresh thyme leaves
- 5 crushed dried Thai bird chilies (or 1 tsp red chili flakes)
- salt to taste
*You could use another type of lentil here, but the cooking time may be different than if you use red lentils, which I've found require a bit less time to cook than other varieties.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a saute pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until the onion is slightly translucent and the garlic and onion are fragrant.
To your Crockpot add the sauteed onion and garlic, collards, potatoes, mushrooms, veggie broth, water, fresh thyme and Thai bird chilies (OR the red chili flakes) - everything EXCEPT the lentils. Turn heat to high and cover. Let it cook for about 4 hours, then add lentils, one more cup of water, and cook for another 45 minutes or so. Top with grated Parmesan (vegan parm works great if you want to keep this a vegan meal!). Enjoy!
Josh's note: I'm a big fan of Lawry's seasoned salt, and it goes well with this soup and others on this site.