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Collard Bourbon Soup

Combining staples of the Southern pantry such as bacon, collard greens, black-eyed peas and bourbon, New Orleans French Quarter restaurant Sylvain‘s Collard Bourbon Soup offers an interesting and delicious new interpretation of these long cherished ingredients. Chef Alex Harrell says the bourbon lends just a hint of sweetness, which plays well alongside the bitterness of the greens and the smokiness of the bacon. “While we love to use each of these ingredients individually, together they bring a new complexity and a savory flavor profile perfect for serving during the cooler autumn months,” he adds.

6 slices of good quality bacon, diced
1 pound of collard greens, washed thoroughly and chopped
1 large onion, small diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of white wine
1/2 cup of bourbon
3 quarts of pork or chicken stock
3 cups of cooked black-eyed peas
4 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes
1/2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 oz. Worcestershire

Slowly render the bacon in a heavy bottomed pot until it becomes crispy. Add the diced onion and minced garlic and cook until they begin to soften and become fragrant. Add the washed collards to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and begin to wilt in the bacon fat. Add the white wine and the bourbon and bring the soup to a simmer. Add the pork stock, red pepper flake and bay leaves, then return the soup to a simmer. Continue to simmer the soup until the collards are soft (about 40 minutes). Once the collards are soft, add the cooked black-eyed peas and the fresh thyme. Adjust the salt and pepper levels to your liking.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Harrell and Sylvain

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