As soon as Spring has sprung, dandelion greens make a comeback, which is great for White Bean and Ham Soup with Dandelion Greens. Okay, so not for your lawn, but wonderful in this superior soup.
- 1 pound ham; cut bite-size
- 2 carrots; chopped
- 1 onion; chopped
- 1 pound Great Northern beans; rinsed, and broken pieces picked out
- 8 Cups water
- salt, to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 bunch dandelion greens (best purchased from your local greengrocer)
- freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook the ham in a large, heavy oven-proof soup pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, cover and cook 5 minutes. Add the onion, cover and cook until soft, stirring several times so they don't stick to the bottom, about 10 more minutes. Add the beans, water, 1 teaspoon salt and bay leaves, cover and bake until the beans are quite tender, about 2 hours.
- Discard tough parts of dandelion stems. Chop the dandelion greens, remove the soup pot from the oven and stir in the greens. Replace the cover and set aside, off heat, until the greens have softened, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves.
- Season to taste with pepper and salt, though the latter probably won't be necessary because of the ham.
Though it may seem appealing, picking dandelions from the garden for this dish is not necessarily a good idea. Farm raised greens are much safer and healthier. Garden dandelions will likely carry any number of fertilizers, pesticides and other contaminants you don't really want to ingest.