Collard Green (or Kale) and Black-Eyed Pea Soup

From Eating Well, January/February 2008

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
5 cloves garlic, 4 sliced and 1 whole, divided
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
5 cups chopped collard greens OR kale leaves, tough stems removed
6 1/2-inch thick slices baguette
6 tbsp shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
2 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, and finely chopped

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring, until just tender, 5-7 minutes. Add sliced garlic, thyme, and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant about 15 seconds.Increase heat to high and add broth, tomatoes, and their juices. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in collard greens (or kale), reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender, 5-10 minutes. Discard the thyme sprig. Stir in black eyed peas; remove from the heat and cover.
Position rack n upper third of oven; preheat broiler.
Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and broil until lightly toasted, 2-4 minutes. Rub each slice with the remaining clove of garlic. Turn the slices over and top with cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted, 1-3 minutes. Serve the soup topped with cheese toasts and bacon.

Certified Organic Vegetable CSA shares