Escarole White Bean Soup

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I know you can find a million versions of white bean soups on the internet. But since soup season is upon us, I am inspiring you with one of my favorites.

When the air turns cool, there really is nothing better than a bowl of soup. It is the ultimate one pot meal, filling nourishment in a bowl. Soup is relatively easy to make, easy to freeze and easy to bring with you for lunch. It is sort of a miracle.

Escarole is a nutrient dense green that has been hiding in the wings of its kale and Swiss chard cousins for way too long. Slightly bitter as a raw green, escarole mellows nicely when cooked and pairs perfectly with high fiber, high protein beans and medicinal garlic in this soup.When the broth is the star of the show, like in this soup, it’s worth the time to make a good chicken or vegetable stock. I typically roast a chicken once a week, and use the chicken for dinners or lunches. The roasted bones then go into the slow cooker with some carrots, onion, celery and herbs to make a rich bone broth.

As the holidays start to spin, having a nutritious soup like this is a great strategy for filling us up as well as insuring that we still get the nutrition we need this season. Brothy soups like this can be your best friend when we are drowning in holiday cocktails and treats. What are your favorite cold weather soups? Share them below and enjoy this one today.

White Bean and Escarole Soup

Makes about 2 quarts

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon each coarse salt and pepper
1 large (32-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed (or 3 cups cooked)
1 large head of escarole, chopped
2 sprigs thyme
6 cups bone broth, or low sodium chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (optional)

Directions

1. In a large soup pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the onion, carrots, celery and garlic with the salt and pepper. Stir frequently for about 5 minutes, until the onions are golden and soft.

2. Stir in the beans and thyme. Add the escarole in bunches, allowing it to wilt down. Add the broth and lemon zest, bring to a boil, then cover and bring down to a simmer.

3. Simmer the soup for about 20 minutes. Taste, you might need to add a dash more salt and the lemon juice if it needs a lift. Remove the thyme sprigs and serve hot.

 

Heather Carey, MS© 2017

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