Escarole & Bean Soup to Perk You Up

The weather has been pretty gray and rainy here lately and being many of us are remaining indoors to help flatten the curve it’s a good time to make a pot of soup. I’m from the “old school of thought” that a bowl of soup will make you feel so much better whether you are ill with a cold, just feeling a bit glum or maybe chilly from the cold weather. Soups are one of my favorite meals to prepare. Depending on your mood you can make them from scratch if you want homemade stock or you can buy broth already prepared. You can make a very hearty soup or one that is light and still flavorful and satisfying. So why not give making soups a try. Soups can be easy on the budget too.

Escarole and Bean Soup

Ingredients:
3-4 Tbsp. of olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of a soup pot)
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
2 heads of escarole- Cut off the base, spread the leave and wash in a colander very well, rinse them a few times, drain, you can blot the water with a paper towel and chop into bite size pieces
2 (14 oz.) cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed- divided: 1 ½ cans whole,
½ can mashed (a potato masher works great for this)
8 cups of chicken broth (or 2-32 oz cans)
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

Parmesan
Rustic crusty bread – sliced

Directions:
Heat a soup pot over medium heat and add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the soup pot
Add the garlic and red pepper flakes plus a pinch of salt and sauté for a minute or two, be careful not to burn the garlic.

Add the chopped escarole and stir to coat with the oil. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the escarole begins to wilt. Add a pinch of salt.
Stir in the beans (1 ½ cans whole and ½ can mashed)
Lower the heat, and add the chicken broth and tomato sauce
Add salt, pepper to taste.
Simmer for another 10-15 minutes

Serve with grated parmesan cheese (optional).

Serve soup with a slice of warm rustic crusty bread topped with butter or melted cheese.

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