Lemony Italian Butter Beans and Collard Greens Stew

Makes 8 servings

1 ½ cups Onion, diced

3 cloves Garlic, minced

1 ½ cups Celery, diced

2 ½ cups Italian Butter Beans, drained

1 ½ bunches Collard Greens, stemmed and cut into small pieces

3-4 Carrots, medium to large, sliced (about 2 cups)

1 ½ cups diced Tomatoes with juice, canned no salt added

1 red, ripe Anaheim Chile pepper, diced

4 cups clear Vegetable Broth, low-sodium or no salt added

2 Bay Leaves

¼ tsp ground Nutmeg

1 tsp Smoked Paprika

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon lemon zest

Additional water or broth as needed

Place diced onions, garlic, celery and red chile pepper in large soup pot over medium-low heat, add enough water to sauté vegetables, a bit of brown is a good thing so don’t worry it the onions stick a bit while cooking about 5 to 10 minutes, just add water as needed.  Add carrots, tomatoes and spices, simmer about 5 minutes.  Add broth, bay leaves, butter beans, and collard greens; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes or until carrots and collard greens are tender. You may need to add additional broth or water to make sure you have enough liquid.  I like this chunky like a stew so just enough liquid to keep it simmering.

Stir in lemon juice, and zest a few minutes before serving, remove bay leaves and season to taste with salt and pepper.  I like to let people season their own bowls, this helps to drastically reduce the sodium use in our house.