Pot liquor, the flavorful liquid leftover after cooking down a pot of greens, is the base of this hearty soup. It’s also chock full of tender beans and veggies.
Pot Likker soup.
That’s the real name of this soup. But how many people outside of the South know what pot likker is?
Pot likker, also known as pot liquor or potlikker, is the liquid leftover after cooking down a pot of greens — collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens. Greens have to cook for several hours to become tender. All that cooking concentrates the flavors. Some people drain the leftover liquid and dump it down the drain. Smart people know that’s where to good stuff is.
Though this soup does need to simmer for a couple hours just like a pot of greens, it’s a set-it-and-forget-it kind of meal. Dump everything in a stock pot some cold, lazy Sunday afternoon, simmer it over low heat on a back burner and a few hours later, dinner is ready. It’s perfect when served with a wedge of freshly baked cornbread.
Collard Green Pot Liquor Soup
Pot liquor, the flavorful liquid leftover after cooking down a pot of greens, is the base of this hearty soup. It's also chock full of tender beans and veggies.
- 1 bunch collard greens
- 3-4 smoked ham hocks or hambone
- 1 quart cold water
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 15 ounce can seasoned butter (lima) beans
- 1 15 ounce can field peas and snaps
- 1 15 ounce can black-eyed peas
- 1 15 ounce can Hoppin’ John
- 1 cup Bloody Mary mix
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup sliced fresh or frozen okra
Thoroughly wash the greens to remove any grit. Remove the center stem and tear the leaves into smaller pieces. Set aside.
Add the remaining ingredients into a large stock pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Add collard greens. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 2 ½ - 3 hours or until the collard greens are tender and the meat from the ham hocks is easily remove from the bone.
Remove the ham hocks or hambone. Once cool enough to touch, pull the meat from the bones and shred. Add the meat back to the pot and stir to combine and heat through.
Season with salt and pepper.