‘Mom, it’s ‘wring’ outside!…feels wintry but looks springy!’ That’s my 14 year old telling me this morning. Okay, so it’s silly…but hey, what’s life without a few silly comments in a day….it keeps the fun going and smiles flowing. 🙂
And then, in the same breath he said….’kinda like a soupy day.’ Taking the cue, I put the soup pot on first, and then rummaged into my refrigerator drawers. Escarole and fennel stared back, and a quick left turn into my pantry revealed a can of white beans. BINGO! a hearty bowl of white beans and escarole soup flashed in my mind and 15 minutes later translated into a delicious lunch all packed in my son’s thermos. Now, of course, I didn’t tell him it was escarole…told him it was just bean soup with some greens thrown in for color! Wink Wink!!
You will need:
2 Tbsp Olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves
1 stalk celery; chopped fine
1/2 of a medium fennel bulb; trimmed and chopped fine (you may substitute a medium yellow onion if desired, but fennel gives it a new flavor profile.)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 medium bunch escarole; washed and cut into big chunks
1 can of white beans; washed and drained
2 tsp. salt or to tast; and pepper
1 pinch Italian seasoning (optional)
3 cups of vegetable broth or water
a Tbsp. or so of chopped parsley
Heat oil in a medium pot on medium-high heat. Add the chopped garlic, celery and fennel and stir to sweat for 2-3 minutes. Stir just until the vegetables turn translucent. Add the tomato paste and stir again. Add the chopped escarole and the drained white beans. Stir and add vegetable stock or water, salt, pepper and the seasoning; if using. Cook uncovered for 8-10 minutes. Gently press a few beans on the side of the pot with the back of your spoon. This will thicken the soup a bit. Taste for seasoning and serve hot with some parsley sprinkled on the top! Mangia!