Escarole and White Bean Soup

I can’t remember exactly how I found this recipe for escarole and white bean soup, but it is really yummy. I think it might be a mixture between something from Rao’s cook book, my friend Sheila Tennaro, and an Italian coworker from Delaware. My coworker called it “Scrollie”, and it was common on her table. The escarole on our farm is ready right now, the beginning of November, but it is a green with which many people are not familiar. Even if you’re not familiar with escarole, try this recipe; it’s unbeatable! This was one of the first recipes we shared with our CSA, way back when we only had 7 members! It has withstood the test of time, and I promise you will love it too.

Escarole and White Bean Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 medium onion (6 oz.), diced

  • 2 oz. very thinly sliced pancetta, diced (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic

  • 1 medium to large head escarole (about 14 oz.), trimmed of outer leaves, 2 inches of root end cut off, leaves sliced across into 3/4-inch wide strips (to yield about 9 to 10 cups), thoroughly washed

  • 1 tsp. coarse salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 cups bone broth or chicken broth

  • 1 cup cooked and drained cannellini, navy beans, or other white beans.

  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

  • Grated parmigiano reggiano

  • Croutons (optional)

Directions:

  • Heat the olive oil in a 4-qt. low-sided soup pot or Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat.

  • Add the onion and pancetta and sauté until the onion is softened and both are browned, about 12 min.

  • Add the garlic, stir, and sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 min.

  • Add the escarole and stir thoroughly to coat the leaves (and to deglaze the pan slightly with their moisture).

  • Season with 1/2 tsp. of the salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper.

  • Add the broth, stir well, and bring to a boil; cover the pot, lower to a simmer, and cook 8 to 10 min.

  • Uncover the pot, add the beans, and simmer another 2 to 3 min. Add the lemon juice and turn off the heat.

  • Ladle the soup into four shallow soup bowls and top each with cheese and croutons.

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