Monday, November 18, 2013

Escarole and White Bean Soup

It's that time of year again.  The CSA has closed down, our backyard gardens or local farm stands are closing and WE STILL NEED TO KEEP LEAFY GREENS in our diet.  One of my fall/winter favorites is Zuppa di Scarola e Fagioli (escarole and white bean soup).  Escarole is one of those leafy greens that grows late into the growing season; it's a hearty veggie.

Escarole is actually an endive.  The perks of this endive are that its leaves are broader, paler, and less bitter than others in the endive family.  One fun fact I found while researching is that the endive is a member of the daisy family.  It is a chicory and cousins to romaine lettuce but somewhere along the lines they co-mingling among the daisies.

Escarole is really good for you!  It contains 6 times the dietary fiber as romaine lettuce, its high in Vitamin A, K and folate.  It contains minerals and antioxidants; all good for inhibiting free radicals from damaging your DNA.

Eat it and enjoy it!

Escarole and White Bean Soup                                                 servings: 6

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 small onion, sliced in 1" pieces
1 small red pepper, 1" chunks
3 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
1 tsp rosemary
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 head of escarole, easily found at the grocery store, coarsely chopped
5 cups liquid (I use a combination of broth, water, and veggie bouillon
1 can (12 oz) chopped tomatoes
1 can (1 5oz) small white beans (though if you prefer, you could do cannellini/ Great Northern White beans
salt and pepper
grating cheese


Heat oil in a large soup pot.  Gently saute onion and red pepper  for 10 minutes, stirring often and lowering heat to prevent burning.  Next add your garlic.  Cook for about 30 seconds and add rosemary and pepper flakes.  Stir in escarole just long enough to coat with oil and begin to wilt 2-4 minutes.  Add in water, broth and tomatoes. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.  With 5 minutes left stir in beans (make sure you rinsed them first!) and salt and pepper to taste.  Turn heat off.  Add 2 Tbs of grating cheese and stir.  Let stand for 10 minutes.  Serve.