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Collards in place of spinach?

After reading a recent 'minestrone' thread I feel the urge to make soup tonight. At my local shop they have collards in. I am on the west coast of canada and have only seen collards in the store a few times but a lot more in the last 2 yrs. I have never eaten them or cooked with them. I like to put a spinach or chard in my soup can I use collards? I think you have to cook them a lot longer? so maybe stew them for 30mins in broth before adding first veggies so will cook about a hour total? Or will the flavour be overpowering or unsuitable? Just eat them plain as Ive seen on tv shows?

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  1. Aside from texture, and cooking time, which you seem to be aware of, collards also taste quite different from spinach.

    Where spinach can almost have a very delicate floral sweetness to them, collards can be, and are, quite bitter (esp in comparison to spinach).

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      My opinion is biased by the fact that I grew up in Atlanta :) I find collards quite mild. But nothing like spinach. And, yes, they need quite a bit more cooking than spinach.

    2. I find collards to have a more interesting flavor than spinach in soup .

      1 Reply
      1. Definately use collards! I cut out the big stem in the middle and then slice fairly thin. They withstand cooking a long time, so its perfect for soup. Just treat it like cabbage.
        I don't find the flavor overwhelming but it is more similar to chard than spinach.

        1. I am making soup tomorrow instead of tonight but like someone said I had a feeling it is going to be a much stronger taste. More like a chard/ spinach/broccoli leaf/dandy lion green? lol

          1 Reply
          1. re: daislander

            it's hard to describe. It's definitely a more muted taste than broccoli rabe or dandelions....not as bitter. Earthier than spinach, so more like chard....but a really nice earthiness, kind of fullness, than spinach. As others have suggested, cut out the tough stem, shred very finely, cook a long time. It turns very tender and is full of calcium and other good things. Sorry, hard to describe...would love to hear what you think after you try!

          2. i also have found collards can give off more liquid when cooking almost like cabage so you may want to reduce some of your other liquids