Incredibly rich, flavorful, and so comforting is this collard greens soup with beans and ham. Whip up a batch of this extra hearty soup filled with Southern goodness, so easy to make and warming to the soul!

collard greens soup with beans and ham in scalloped bowl with spoon

We are knee deep in Spring and ya girl is over here making soup, ha! I know, I know, but I also don’t care because a good bowl of soup always hits no matter the season. This collard greens soup is just the relaxing vibe I’m canoodling with after having some family in town recently. One of my sister’s and her whole gang came down all the way from Indiana and we all had a real nice time. All good things must come to an end.

My sis has two of the most amazing children, a boy and a girl. As I type this, one is five and the other is eight. They’re smart, entertaining, and highly inquisitive to say the least. I have no children of my own so it is always such a joy to be around little humans. We had a pool party at my mom’s, we ate a ton, went to Busch Gardens, and a whole lot more! My socializing meter has been depleted and now that they’re gone, I’m recharging my batteries haha. Plenty of time to myself and a heaping bowl of this soup is the move!

collard greens soup with beans and ham in bowl on marble surface with pot

The Most Delicious Collard Greens Soup

Y’all, this collard greens soup with beans and ham is giving you cozy + comforting vibes!

Have you ever had traditional Southern collard greens before? If so, you’re in for a nice treat, peeps! I like to think of this soup recipe as a related family member to a side of collard greens because it’s super similar.

Collard Greens Soup Ingredients

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • olive oil
  • onion
  • garlic
  • salt/pepper
  • smoked pork hocks
  • chicken stock
  • lima beans
  • collard greens
  • apple cider vinegar
  • hot sauce

>>> Minimal ingredients, big flavor!!! Lima beans make this soup extra filling and smoked meat adds some nice heartiness. If you’re not a pork fan, you can easily swap the ham hock for any other smoked meat you prefer like smoked turkey. Sooo much deliciousness right here, this is a soup recipe that hits the bones!

collard greens soup with beans and ham in large purple pot

More Comfy + Cozy Recipes To Make

What Are Collard Greens?

Literally the best leafy greens on the entire planet, according to Quin, ha! In all seriousness, the collard plant hails from the Brassica oleracea family. It’s very similar to cabbage, kale, and Swiss chard. This is a plant that is available year round; however, it does have a better taste around the colder/winter months when harvesting. You will find collard greens to be large, dark, leafy greens with a thick stem right down the middle. This plant is a huge favorite among Southern states + African American culture and often served as a side dish.

Health Benefits Of Collard Greens

Oooeee…collards are loaded with nutrients! Collard greens are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E, and K. In addition, they are also extremely low in calories and high in calcium and fiber. These greens also have an association in cancer prevention, lowering cholesterol, bone health, and digestion to name a few.

black hand taking a spoonful of collard greens soup in scalloped bowl

Why You’ll Love This Collard Greens Soup

  • SOOO WILDLY EASY! There is nothing better than a fantastic soup recipe that comes together with few ingredients and is simple to make. This collard greens soup with beans and ham is just that, my friends!
  • EXTRA HEARTY! Nah, this ain’t just broth-filled soup nonsense. This soup is giving you hearty elements like beans, collard greens, and pieces of smoked meat throughout for a satisfyingly filling appetizer or meal.
  • FLAVORTOWN EXPRESS! So much flavor is packed within this soup recipe. Chicken stock gives that signature rich taste, the pieces of broken greens give off a slightly bitter/earthy flavor, lima beans add a nice buttery touch, and smoked meat rounds it all out. And my fave, hot sauce, adds spice!

Swaps + Substitutes For This Recipe

Smoked ham hocks: There is truly nothing like a smoked ham hock to give your food a nice smoky flavor, I’m just being honest. If you don’t have/don’t prefer to use ham hocks you can use cubed ham (much quicker cooking method) and/or smoked turkey legs (cooked in the same manner as ham hocks).

Chicken stock: A good substitute for chicken stock would be chicken broth or vegetable broth.

Lima beans: Love these thick and buttery beans but other alternates include navy beans, butter beans, white kidney beans, cannellini beans, and fava beans. Just be sure to buy *dried* beans and not canned beans. Dried beans take longer to cook and are perfect for this collard greens soup because of the overall cooking time. If you’re using canned beans, add them in near the end as they don’t need to cook as long.

Collard greens: If you don’t have any collard greens on hand, go for kale. Out of all the leafy greens, kale has the most similar taste/texture to collard greens! Close alternates would be baby spinach and Swiss chard.

Hope you love this recipe as much as we do (pair it with a slice of cornbread to sop that thang up!) Xo.

collard greens soup in scalloped bowl on marble surface




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collard greens soup with beans and ham in scalloped bowl with spoon

Collard Greens Soup With Beans and Ham

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 7 reviews
  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Soups & Stews
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Southern
Save Recipe


Incredibly rich, flavorful, and so comforting is this collard greens soup with beans and ham. Whip up a batch of this extra hearty soup filled with Southern goodness, so cozy and easy to make!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic or garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb smoked pork hocks, or alternate smoked meat
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) chicken stock, divided
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lb large dried lima beans, rinsed (no need to soak)
  • 1 bunch fresh collard greens, stems removed and chopped into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Hot sauce, to taste


  1. In a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat, drizzle in the oil. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onions in. Allow the onions to cook until they become translucent and tender, while stirring every so often, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add in the garlic and stir together with the onions until the garlic is nice and fragrant, about 1 minute. Then season the mixture with salt and pepper. 
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and place the smoked pork hocks (or alternate smoked meat) into the same pot and stir the meat around to cook on all sides for another 5 minutes. 
  4. Pour in 4 cups of chicken stock along with the 2 cups of water and rinsed lima beans. Stir everything together to fully combine, then cover the pot with a lid, and let the mixture simmer for one hour over medium-low. Going back to the pot every now and then to stir together.
  5. After simmering, the smoked meat should be very tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the smoked meat into a bowl and let cool for a few minutes. Use your hands (with disposable gloves, if desired) or two forks to tear the meat off of the bones. Then discard the bones, excess skin, and fatty pieces. Add the meat back into the same pot and stir together.
  6. Add in the chopped collard greens, remaining 4 cups of chicken stock, vinegar, and a few squirts of hot sauce (to your desired preference). Stir everything together well to combine, cover the pot with a lid, and let the mixture simmer again for another hour; the greens will wilt down significantly.
  7. Taste the soup and adjust seasonings by adding more salt/pepper, to taste, and more hot sauce. Enjoy the soup warm alongside a slice of cornbread or as desired.