Soup Bunch

“Soup bunch is a classic Gullah dish. The ladies of the Sea Islands would gather leftover root vegetables and leafy greens, then head to the city by boat and sell them as “Soup Bunch.” —Benjamin “BJ” Dennis IV. Read more about the Gullah Geechee community here

Soup Bunch
Makes 8 to 10 servings
Courtesy of:
  • ½ pound smoked meat or fish (ham hock, back bones, neck bones)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 hot pepper (optional), chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 bunch leafy greens (collard greens, turnip greens, kale), stemmed and chopped
  • ½ small head green cabbage, cored and chopped
  • 1 small turnip, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 small rutabaga, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 small red potato, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Hot cooked white rice, to serve
  • Garnish: sliced Fresno pepper, black pepper
  1. In a large Dutch oven, bring smoked meat, onion, pepper, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and enough water to cover to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally until meat is tender, about 30 to 45 minutes.
  2. Gradually stir in greens and cabbage, and cook for 10 minutes. Add turnip, rutabaga, potato, salt, and pepper; cook until tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Discard thyme and bay leaves. Remove meat. (Shred, and stir back into soup, if desired.) Serve with rice. Garnish with Fresno pepper and black pepper, if desired.



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