What to do with collards

CSA time is drawing to a close at the end of this month but it is still keeping me on my toes.  I’m always perplexed as to what to do with the kale, swiss chard and collards that are so abundant this time of year.  I would be lying if I said we used them each week.  More often than not they get tossed out of sheer ignorance of what to do with them.  Part of my problem is that growing up we never really ate these leafy greens.  They weren’t regular or even occasional guests at our dinner tables.

This week we got collards, and with it a recipe that looked perfect for a lazy Sunday.  If you ever have a bunch of collards lying around I highly recommend this recipe.  Not only was it stupid easy (I threw it together at 9 AM and let it sit all day), it was flavorful and even Syd could eat it!  If everyone is happy, I’m happy.  If I can get my hands on a good Portuguese kale soup I may try that with our next batch of kale.  We shall see what the farm gives us this week!

Italian Fall Soup with Collards
1 lb loose ground sausage
1/4 cup olive oil
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
8 cups water
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 x 32 oz cans diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes (we used diced so Syd could pick up the pieces)
2 cups pasta, uncooked
1 bunch collards, cut off stems and chop into small shreds
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp Italian herb seasoning

In a large heavy soup pot brown the sausage in the olive oil on medium heat.  When almost browned add the carrots, onions, garlic, collards.  Continue to stir often over medium heat for 15 more minutes.  Add the water, tomatoes, and all seasonings.  Bring to a simmer. Add uncooked pasta and simmer for 15 mins until pasta is cooked.

You can eat it once the pasta is done cooking, but according to the recipe it is best if it sits all day or even better, over night (I let it hang out on the stove-top off heat all day).  Reheat when it’s time to chow!  I used a veggie pasta that broke down significantly; I’m not sure if regular pasta will do the same.  Syd loved the carrots and even the collards which is shocking because she is very picky when it comes to veggies.  I went into this figuring she would have a dinner of pasta and sausage with a side of tomatoes but she just gobbled everything up.  Who knew?!


  1. Great recipe and you’re right–super easy! I made it with ground beef and tomato sauce since I didn’t have any sausage or diced tomatoes in the house. And it’s great with kale!

  2. midwestkids says:

    Awesome! It freezes well BTW…


  1. […] bad if I didn’t use them soon. Yesterday I made a yummy Italian soup, courtesy of my friend Julie, to use up the bunch of kale I had sitting in the […]

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