I created this soup so that I could incorporate some of the most basic ingredients I love in one pot. Potlikker is the term for the juice left from cooking seasoned collard greens, and that’s what I use here to build the broth. Revered in Southern cooking, potlikker is super-flavorful and packed with vitamins and minerals. It was originally eaten for its nutritional value by enslaved people on Southern plantations, and to this day some people drink it straight! The paprika adds a hint of smokiness, and finishing it with sherry vinegar gives the soup a bit of tang. You can find bunches of collard greens at the grocery store or farmers’ market, or buy it pre-cut in a bag to make this simple recipe even quicker. After you add the collards and rice, the soup becomes thicker and less brothy. Any leftovers freeze well for future meals. —JJ Johnson, from his new cookbook, The Simple Art of Rice
Read our interview with Johnson here.