I have such fond memories of this soup from my youth. This was one of my Daddy’s favorite soups. When he made this he would sometimes have to vary the soup and use chickory if Mom could not find escarole at the market. I never cared for the chickory as I found it to be too bitter. I much prefer the escarole as it is a hearty green that pairs perfectly with the creaminess of the white beans.
I vary my recipe slightly from Daddy’s. Mine is a cross between my favorite Tuscan Bean soup and the Escarole and Beans that Daddy made. I like to mix Kale and Escerole to off set the harshness of the escarole in this soup. This really is a meal in itself because with the pureed white beans you get a hardiness to the soup that makes this almost a stew, or as Rachel Ray calls it a “stoop” not quite a stew but not really soup. No matter what you call it, it is delicious and healthy!
I serve this with warm Italian bread the way my Daddy always did. Nothing else is needed. This is the perfect fall soup, it is light, fresh, and full of flavor. Give this one a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. If you think soup can’t be sexy think again!
Italian Escarole and White Bean Soup
An Italian Classic, that's quick, easy, and oh so satisfying!
- 1 head of Tuscan Kale, green leaves only cleaned and rough chopped
- 1 head of Escarole, cleaned and rough chopped
- 2 large carrots finely diced
- 2 stalks of celery finely diced
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 large can of Cannelini beans (reserve a 1/4 cup of beans to puree) don’t rinse
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 1 32 oz. container of chicken stock
- 1 1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes
- splash of fresh lemon juice
- Kosher Salt and Cracked black pepper to taste
- Pecorino Romano Cheese for garnishing soup
- In a large Dutch oven add 1 tbsp. of EVOO on medium heat, add garlic, carrots, onions and celery. Saute for three minutes, do not burn garlic. Add in white beans, stir gently to blend flavors, add herbs and salt and pepper. Let simmer for about five minutes.
- Immediately add in Chicken broth, and let simmer about 25 minutes.
- In a blender or food processor puree reserved beans
- In a large frying pan add about a tbsp. of EVOO, add a clove a minced garlic, saute greens about three minutes when the wilt lightly, add in red pepper flakes and a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Add in greens and let simmer 10 minutes more, add in pureed beans that were reserved. Simmer another five minutes.
- Serve immediately. Top with a hearty helping of Pecorino Romano cheese, and serve with crusty Italian bread or garlic crostini.