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Recipe: Collard Green Soup with Ham and Beans

I just love a big comforting bowl of soup. I’m not sure what it is about it, but sometimes nothing warms your soul and fills your belly quite like it.

But when most people think soup, they think of a big pot that’s been simmering all day. Believe it or not, soup doesn’t have to be an hourslong affair.

Nope. Soup, when done right, can have tons of great flavor in less than an hour. Seriously. Which makes it a great option when you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

The trick is to start with the best, most flavorful ingredients.

For great flavor, add chopped ham from the grocery store meat case or add three cups of any diced leftover ham. (Stacey Little / Southern Bite)

This recipe is a whole lot of Southern in one bowl, folks. The broth is combined with onions, garlic, diced ham, collard greens, tomatoes and navy beans for a lip-smackingly delicious, hearty dish that’s seriously ready in about 30 minutes.

Let’s break this down a bit …

To make this soup quick and easy, I opted to use frozen chopped collards from your grocer’s freezer section. That said, you could use about 2 pounds of fresh-washed and chopped collard greens. You’d just want to allow those to cook pretty much completely before you added in the tomatoes and beans, which will take a bit longer than the frozen variety. You could also use other greens like kale or turnip.

Another important flavor component here is smoked ham. I like to grab those packages of chopped ham right in the meat case of the grocery store to make this even easier. That said, 3 cups of any diced leftover ham will work, too. You’ll just probably want something a little heftier than the thinly sliced deli-style ham.

For the beans, I went with the mild-flavored navy bean, but you could use pretty much any canned bean – cannellini, great northern, even black-eyed peas will work.

And as much as I know y’all hate the vagueness of the phrase “add salt and pepper to taste,” it’s really important here. The level of salt in the other ingredients will vary – especially in the ham – so the amount of salt you’ll need to make the soup taste right will vary from batch to batch. Add a sprinkle and taste it. If it needs more, add another sprinkle. Just remember you can always add more, but it’s pretty hard to take it away.

Serve with some piping hot cornbread and you’ve got an easy meal that’s perfect for any chilly night of the week. (Stacey Little / Southern Bite)

Serve this soup with some piping hot cornbread and you’ve got an easy meal that’s perfect for those chilly weeknights – or any night, for that matter. Y’all enjoy.

Collard Green Soup with Ham and Beans

Click here for a printable version.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Serves: 6 to 8


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 to 3 cups chopped, smoked ham
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (32-ounce) jars Zoup! Good, Really Good Chicken Bone Broth
  • 2 (16-ounce) bags frozen chopped collard greens
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • salt
  • pepper


  • Heat the oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven on medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and ham and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
  • Add the broth and collard greens, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Stir in the beans and tomatoes.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the collards are your desired tenderness.
  • Serve with piping hot cornbread.

This recipe originally appeared on For more great recipes, visit the website or check out ”The Southern Bite Cookbook.”