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Mama’s Kitchen: Italian White Bean & Escarole Soup

Italian White Bean & Escarole Soup

It’s soup season and I love trying out new soup recipes because I make soup at least once a week in the fall/winter so I like to try and mix it up a bit. I definitely have my family stand-by recipes like my Nonna’s Lentil soup and my Mama’s chicken soup. I also love that you can make a big batch, freeze the left-overs and have a quick dinner on busy nights at the ready.

This week I tried Italian White Bean & Escarole soup. I actually made this soup in about 30 minutes on a busy week night and was so happy with the results. It’s not one of those soups that is better the next day – it was very tasty that night. The original recipe I based this off of was a bit more involved because it included homemade croutons. Instead, I just toasted some bread for dipping and for eating with cheese and olives. I also skipped the pancetta and parmigianno to make the soup a bit healthier but feel free to add them in – I’m sure they add an extra level of flavor.

Italian White Bean & Escarole Soup
Adapted from Fine Cooking – Escarole Bean Soup with Croutons

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion (6 oz.), diced
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 low-salt chicken stock
1 cup cooked cannellini, navy beans, or other white beans (I used cannellini)
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

1. Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium to medium-high heat.

2. Add the onion and sauté until the onion is softened and browned, about 12 minutes.

3. Next, add the garlic, stir, and sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then add the escarole and stir thoroughly to coat the leaves. Season with 1/2 tsp. of the salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Add the stock, stir well, and bring to a boil; cover the pot, lower to a simmer, and cook 8 to 10 minutes.

4. Afterward, uncover the pot, add the beans, and simmer another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice and turn off the heat.

Buon Appetito!

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