Pot Likker Soup makes a delicious and filling meal. Made of pot likker (or pot liquor), the cooking liquid from collards or turnip greens, along with other vegetables and ham. This soup is Southern comfort all the way!
Okay, the name of this recipe may have thrown you off just a touch, but please stay with me.
This Pot Likker Soup Recipe is really, really one you should give a try. It makes a great soup recipe to throw together on the stove with any leftovers from your New Year’s Day meal of baked ham, turnip, mustard or collard greens, and just a few more additions to the soup pot.
And just to tell you, we love Pot Likker Soup so much that we don’t even wait for New Year’s to enjoy it.
If you’ve never heard the term pot likker before, it is the liquid left over after you’ve cooked collard, turnip or mustard greens. Sometimes it is spelled as pot liquor soup, potlikker, or – the way I spell it – pot likker. Pot Likker is packed with iron and vitamins C and K and is one of the most revered liquids in Southern cooking around my house.
I probably get my affiinity for a big pot of greens with pot likker from my Grandmother who would have had a fit at the thought of pouring out the liquid from cooking her greens.
Since she cooked greens regularly, the left over liquid would become a meal in and of itself. Sometimes, it was as simple as warming a piping hot bowl of pot likker on the stove and making a fresh skillet of corn bread to go along with it for a simple and warm lunch during the cool winter months.
Now, I add a few more ingredients turning that simple broth from the greens into a hearty soup.
My Pot Likker Soup recipe included below gives you instructions for cooking the collard, mustard, or turnip greens along with leftover ham. If you don’t have a leftover ham, you can always substitute slices of salt pork or thick-sliced bacon. Also, if you happen to have leftover collard, mustard, or turnip greens, you’ll reduce the cooking time to about 15 minutes total. You’ll want to add more water to any pot likker that you have from your leftover greens to make it equal about 6 cups total. You can play with the broths to find the flavor profile you prefer, you may prefer to use 1/2 chicken broth and 1/2 vegetable broth, either will work well.
Here’s my Pot Likker Soup recipe.
- 5 slices (about 1.5 pounds) baked ham - chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups fresh collard, mustard, or turnip greens, washed with hard stems removed
- 8 cups water
- pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- Add chopped ham to a Dutch oven over medium heat. Heat for about 2-3 minutes and then add olive oil, onion and carrots. Saute until becomes tender, about 2 more minutes. Then add in garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Pour in chicken broth and cook until has reduced by about ½.
- Add greens and water. Boil over medium heat for about 45 minutes until greens are extremely tender.
From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2012.