There's nothing better than a pot of Southern-style slow-simmered greens, flavored with salty ham and a dose of vinegar. Our quick soup starts with the same ingredients, adds black-eyed peas and a shot of Tabasco, and cooks in no time. Add more Tabasco or vinegar to suit your taste.
2 tablespoons cooking oil
6 scallions, white bulbs and green tops chopped and reserved separately
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound Swiss chard or other greens, tough stems removed, leaves washed well and shredded (about 4 cups)
3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2- pounds piece ham, diced
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
2 teaspoons red- or white-wine vinegar
How to Make It
In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the scallion bulbs and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
Add the Swiss chard, black-eyed peas, water, broth, Tabasco, and salt to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the black-eyed peas are tender, about 20 minutes.
Stir the ham into the soup and cook until the ham is warmed through, about 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the pepper, vinegar, and scallion tops.
Variations: Instead of the Swiss chard, use your own favorite greens. Collard, mustard, kale, or beet greens would each lend its unique flavor to the soup.
Wine Recommendation: This soup has more than enough oomph to partner a rich California Syrah. Spicy blackberry and green-olive flavors, a strong earthy streak, and solid structure are its hallmarks, and all of these will go well here.