Dishing Up the Dirt

white bean and collard green soup

This is the kind of soup you make when the weather is grey, you are feeling down in the dumps, and your dog has recently been sprayed by a skunk and the whole house smells completely foul (not to mention you do as well!)

We thought the situation was pretty bad, however, it escalated to a whole new level when Taylor walked into the hardware store and the front desk clerk asked “who the hell just killed a skunk?”

Yep, we are the smelly kids in our new neighborhood!

Ironically, Henry doesn’t seem to mind the smell at all. However, we are doing everything we can to air out our house. Sheets, carpets, couches, clothes. it’s all been doused in vinegar, baking soda, and soap. We have been lighting fires in the wood stove, every window has been open for days (did I mention we live up at altitude and it’s freezing!) It’s been a smelly and cold weekend that’s for sure.

I made this soup as a last ditch effort to make our house smell less skunk-y and to warm ourselves up. I always turn to comfort food in times of crisis (skunk smell is a crisis right?)  Collard greens always make me happy regardless of any situation so I was excited to add a healthy bunch of collards to this lovely soup.

I hope wherever you all are it smells a little better than what we are dealing with. If you get a chance roll up your sleeves, pour a glass of wine, and stand in front of your stove while you prepare this beautiful soup.  Taylor proclaimed this his favorite soup of the season and I must admit I agree. So simple yet totally delicious!



White Bean and Collard Green Soup

Prep Time: 10 mins.    Cook Time: 30 mins.    Serves: 4-6

  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 4 small red potatoes, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz can tomatoes, with juices
  • 2 15 oz can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4-5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 large bunch of collard greens, tough stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • Grated parmesan cheese if desired 


  1. In a large soup pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook for about 3 more minutes. Add potatoes, tomatoes, beans. collard greens and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 25 minutes. If soup is too thick add a little more stock or water.
  3. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes
  4. Garnish soup with a healthy portion of grated parmesan cheese.


Use this recipe as a guide. Adjust measurements and ingredients and necessary. Always taste test as you go!

Leave a Reply

40 thoughts on “white bean and collard green soup

  1. Skunk smell is bad times! love this soup with the white beans they are such a simple and rewading ingredient. Just posted my white bean stew with apples and spicy Italian sausage yesterday, maybe you want to have a look.
    keep warm xox

    1. Andrea says:

      Thank you! And I’ll head over to check out your recipe now!

  2. mary ann says:

    Damn skunk! Not only did he make everything and everyone stink, he also necessitated a huge housecleaning project – I’m not sure which is worse. The only thing that I can think of that would have made it even more miserable is if you had guests this weekend. At least you had some great soup to help save the day. I know now what we’re having for dinner – thanks!!!

    1. Andrea says:

      the house cleaning is still going on! It’s a major pain in the ass! Thank god for wine.

  3. Julia says:

    Oh man, I’m laughing and shaking my head at the same time! I’ve never come close to a skunk encounter and I can only imagine how difficult it is to get that smell away! This soup is definitely perfect to nourish the body and soul after a smelly skunk incident. It looks like it has so much flavor with all those delicious veggies!

  4. Why have I never used collards in a soup? That must change 🙂

    Sorry about the skunk smell…

    1. Andrea says:

      collards in soup is the best!

  5. Kier says:

    Oh no – I can imagine how bad that would be! Thankfully it has never happened to us!

    I have been making a similar soup to this for the past week or so – throw in some tortellini at the end and it is totally delicious.

    1. Andrea says:

      the addition of tortellini sounds great!

  6. I just recently discovered the greatness of collard greens, so I cannot wait to try this one out!

  7. Trish says:

    I have been where you are with the skunk smell! I was complaining to the young girl at the checkout of the grocery in my tiny town as I bought more baking soda and she said ‘I like the smell of skunk’!!!! everyone’s different!

    1. Andrea says:

      oh that’s too funny! I wish I liked the smell……

  8. Oh no! Haha- stinky Henry! Skunk smell is the worst.

    This soup looks like a big bowl of comfort and I want to dive right in!

    1. Andrea says:

      It really is the worst smell ever!

  9. Oh yes, skunk smell is TOTALLY a crisis. I think I would be handling it a lot worse than you are. Glad this soup is keeping everyone sane! It is absolutely beautiful!

    1. Andrea says:

      Thank you!

  10. Aw that’s terrible! I hate the smell of skunk but I can’t imagine living with it or smelling like it myself! Hope it’s gone away now – at least it got you to make this comforting soup!

  11. This soup definitely fits the bill for comfort soup! It looks so warm and hearty.

    I am sorry about the skunk smell, that has to be one of the worst smells ever! Ugh, a crisis for sure.

    1. Andrea says:

      Thank you. I hope we never have to deal with this smell again!!!

  12. Tacia says:

    Just made this yesterday for my sick husband while I am away for a few days (secretly for me to take into work). I didn’t have all the ingredients handy, so added some Italian turkey sausage in place of 1 can of beans and kale instead of collard greens. Super easy and big YUM!! Thanks

    1. Andrea says:

      So happy you enjoyed it!

  13. Gina Frances says:

    I make a similar soup during the warmer months but yours looks SO MUCH PRETTIER! Can’t wait to try it 🙂

  14. Ruth says:

    I made this soup yesterday for dinner, it was really good! So easy to make too. I ended up using a can of navy beans since I didn’t have cannelloni. Had another bowl today for lunch, Yum, Yum!

  15. Iiro Andersson says:

    This soup is so perfect for the coming cold season. Nice to cook, tastes great. I think I used kale instead of collard greens. (They are different things, right?) Seemed to work just fine. Thank you.

  16. Lindsley Newbury says:

    YUMMMM….this has become a staple at our household. And just for the record we know all about skunk encounters…

  17. Sarah says:

    Am going to make the soup tonight , it sounds perfect for a cold autumnal day here in NZ. I was doing some research on getting rid of fragrance from fabric and randomly came across a post about people keeping cartons of tomato juice in their car to wash away skunk stink if they hit a skunk on the road. Perhaps that might be worth a try if your dog meets another skunk! Though of course it might turn him pink!

  18. Jennifer says:

    Tortellini, white wine and deer sausage will be going into mine tonight. We have mustard greens waiting on the counter for soup tonight. My husband likes to add a little cream to the soup too!
    We have a dog that kills skunks for sport so she stays outside a lot. Good thing for her that we live in Texas.

    1. Andrea says:

      Sounds like great additions! Enjoy!

  19. Dorinda says:

    Very lovely soup. The flavors are well balanced. I added a parsnip and tofu for a little extra protein. (And removed the potatos). Collards always make me feel like Wonder Woman after I have them. This is going into my recipe box. Thank you for sharing.

  20. Ruth Jones says:

    The end of my summer collard crop and a rainy day in Florida equals this soup. I’ve made it a couple of times and it’s super delicious. Thanks.

  21. MM says:

    Amazing soup! Thank you

  22. Linda says:

    Amazing soup! Thank you

  23. Mary e. says:

    Very easy to make. Inexpensive. Homey, cozy comfort food!!! Nice laddled over a little brown rice.
    Grated parmesan on top. Freezes well. My freezer is stocked! I feel satiated and healthy! Oh yum!!

  24. Jane Poppell says:

    I am going to make this for our faculty next week, we are having Souper Luncheon and all the Resource people are making soup. I have had a skunk gnaw his way into a kitchen cabinet(our house sits off the ground) and let loose at 3 a.m. It was freezing outside and the smell was horrible. We tried everything and finally a pest control guy said to place Oil of Wintergreen in little cups around the house and it worked. This was after we had the house fogged with a treatment that they use for dead bodies. I know – it sounds horrible.
    Didn’t work – just smelled like a skunk with baby powder on him. Cannot wait to try the soup.

  25. Sabrina says:

    Thanks for this awesome soup. I almost always alter ingredients but this time I didn’t change one thing and it was yummy. Plus loaded into my weight watchers recipe builder and it was only 1 point. Many thanks!

  26. Daniel Olsen says:

    Looks like a great recipe and love the story. Going to give it a try tonight.

  27. Anne Epstein says:

    I just joined a CSA. In my basket this week, I found “baby” collard greens. I’d had unsatisfactory results using collard in the past, but when I found your soup recipe, i decided to give it a try. Well, it is fantastic! I can see that its a versatile enough recipe to add or subtract ingredients. I love that it can be vegan or vegetarian, or even have animal protein added to it.

  28. lisa says:

    Added thyme and oregano for more flavor.

  29. Mary Ann Edelstein says:

    Andrea, your wonderful mother made this amazing soup for lunch today for Terry and me. It was the BEST soup I have ever eaten! Wow!!!! We had your delicious lettuce and huge yummy radishes. I will make this a lot from now on!

    1. Andrea says:

      Yay! So happy to hear!!! xoxoxo

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