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

Collard Greens Soup With Beans and Ham

  • 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


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.

Keywords: collard greens, beans, southern, soup, appetizer, cozy