Spring greens, fresh pea and ham soup

Spring greens, fresh pea and ham soup
Serves 8

Kale is a great leafy green available in winter and spring and there are many varieties. If you can't find kale, use Swiss chard, mustard greens or collard greens. Fresh peas are great if you can find really fresh and sweet ones but if not, frozen peas work really well and are sometimes sweeter than fresh peas in the pod.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound kale such as green kale, dinosaur kale, Russian kale, Swiss chard, or other fresh green, ribs removed and discarded, leaves washed, and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups diced canned tomatoes, (preferably San Marzano)
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound leftover ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup cooked small white beans, such as Great Northern (or if you are lucky enough to find them Zolfino beans)
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or more to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly grated good-quality Parmesan cheese
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium-high heat and add the onions, garlic, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and stirring frequently, cook until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add the stock, potatoes, and greens. Bring the liquid to the boil over high heat, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes. Wrap the rosemary, and bay in a tied cheesecloth bundle and add to the soup with the tomatoes, ham, and beans. Cook at a low simmer for 15 minutes.

  3. Add the peas and cook 5 minutes more. Remove and discard the herb bundle and season to taste with the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir in the minced parsley.

  4. Ladle into heated soup bowls and serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
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