Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Collard Greens Soup (Karalahana Corbasi)

This unique soup is native to Black Sea region of Turkey where my husband's family is from. But it happens to combine flavors that are not strange at all to America. I found for myself some short cuts to prepare this soup which still end up delicious and traditional enough to satisfy my husband's taste buds. Give this soup a try; it is full of healthy ingredients which will satisfy your taste buds, too.

Ingredients: (Serves 6-8)

  • 6 cups chicken/beef/vegetable stock
  • 1/2 of a 15-oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 of a 16-oz. package of frozen chopped collard greens, or 1 bunch fresh collard greens, stems discarded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 of a 15-oz. can cannellini beans (Northern beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup sweet whole kernel corn (canned or frozen)
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • Put the stock in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until smooth.
  • Add the sugar and the collard greens and stir. Bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat, add the corn (if using canned corn, drain it first) and the beans. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the collard greens are cooked (they will turn from really dark green to yellowish dark green and soft). Taste the soup and add salt and pepper to your liking, if necessary.
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan. When it starts foaming and sizzling, add the red pepper flakes and saute them for 1 minute, until they infuse the butter with their flavor and color (do not burn them!). Pour into the soup and mix.

Additional points:

  • For me personally, the salt amount of the stock is enough (since I prepare my stocks with bouillons), so I do not put additional salt. But you can, if you think it's necessary.
  • Originally this soup is made with hominy corn (white or yellow), instead of sweet whole kernel corn. You can find dried or canned hominy corn at ethnic grocery stores. If you make this soup with dried hominy corn, you need to soak the corn grains overnight and cook (boil) them until they are soft, but firm to the bite (just like you would cook beans), and then add them to the soup. That's why if you can find canned hominy it'll make your life much easier, you can add canned hominy to this soup at the same point when you would add the sweet kernel corn. Once you start using hominy in soups, you will be hooked; they have a wonderful bite to them.

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