Thick, creamy and super simple escarole and bean soup is made for those fall and winter days when hot comfort food is much appreciated.
Escarole, also known as endive, is a hearty green leave vegetable that has a note of bitterness which goes perfect with creaminess of beans.
To make escarole and bean soup you can use canned beans so as cook raw dry beans as the recipe goes. Either way you’ll have a fantastic result.
A generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and fresh grated Parmesan cheese bring together light bitterness of escarole and creaminess of the beans.
Crusty, fragrant country bread toast to go with this soup is a MUST! 😉
Thick Escarole & Bean Soup
- 1 head escarole approx 1 lb
- 1 ½ cup dry beans or 22 oz canned beans
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- Peperoncino (chili flakes)
- Oregano (optional)
- 1 Pinch bullion cube (optional)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 4-6 slices country bread
- Parmesan cheese ,grated
Cook the beans
- Start by soaking beans in warm water for 6-8 hours or better yet overnight. This will reduce cooking time almost by half. However you can still proceed with preparation if you haven’t soaked the beans in advance.
- Drain the beans from soaking water and transfer them to a pot with fresh drinking water.
- Water level should be well above the beans. Add whole garlic cloves and bay leaves.
- Bring beans to boil, then reduce heat to low and let them simmer for an hour, hour and a half.
- If you haven’t soaked the beans the process is exactly the same, but beans will need to simmer for 2-3 hours until done.
- Check on beans occasionally removing the foam and if needed refilling the pot with more BOILING water.
Prepare escarole and country bread
- Wash, core and chop escarole head in medium size cubes or shred thinly.
- In a large skillet pan add a generous splash of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of peperoncino (chili flakes). Add escarole and toss in a pan for a few minutes until it reduces in volume.
- Preheat oven to 375F. Place bread slices on a sheet pan, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and oregano and let them brown under the broiler.
- If you prefer you can also brush them with fresh garlic clove for extra aroma and taste.
- Once beans are cooked, combine escarole and beans in the pot. Add salt to taste and let simmer for another few minutes. Discard garlic and bay leaves if possible.
- Serve hot, topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Oh, and don’t forget to dunk the bread!