Escarole and Beans Soup is one of Italy’s best creations, and a remnant of Magna Grecia, the ancient, pre-Roman colonies of Greece. Those colonies in Sicily, Calabria and other parts of Southern Italy formed much of the cultural beginnings of ancient Roman civilization, and contemporary Italian life. This soup originated in Calabria.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 or 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 pound escarole, coarsely chopped
- 15 ounces of cannellini beans (canned, though the best option is to soak your own dried beans overnight), drained and rinsed
- 4 to 5 Cups chicken or vegetable stock
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 to 4 Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
- red pepper flakes, to taste
- Add the onion and hot pepper flakes to a large pot along with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and begin heating the pot - cooking for three minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic. Sautée the garlic for a minute or so and add the escarole and cook until wilted, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add salt, broth, and drained beans.
- Cover and simmer the soup for 10 to 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can, of course, simmer the soup longer, if needed, to develop more intense flavor.
- After portioning the soup to your serving bowl, drizzle the remaining olive oil over the beans and escarole and grate a bit of Parmigiano-Reggiano over the soup. Serve the soup with a good quality bread and a glass of Ciro from Calabria.
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