Escarole & Bean Soup (Scarola e Fagioli)
This recipe is so simple it could not possibly get easier. Its an Italian classic, its comfort food, its easy and its probably the least expensive thing you can cook for a meal. Here is how you do it… take 2 cloves of garlic, slice, and 1 small yellow onion and dice OR 1 large shallot, chopped/diced and put in a hot sauce pan with olive oil. Add some salt, let cook for 5 minutes, add a can of chicken stock, maybe a half of can of water, bring to a boil, add in chopped fresh escarole lettuce, salt, pepper, after 5 mins add in a can of cannellini beans (thoroughly rinsed) and add so they can be heated (they are already cooked in the can)… adjust salt/pepper to taste, serve with croutons, crusty bread and/or garlic bread and you have a great meal, all in under 25 mins with prep time. Add some extra virgin olive oil or some grated cheese if you wish, even cook with hot pepper flakes… its that easy. Don’t have chicken stock? All is well, just add in some extra salt and you will still get the flavor.
This is what you might get in a pizzeria type restaurant. Very few beans, practically no escarole. They used some diced tomatoes, I guess that is ok, but this looks (and tastes) more like vegetable soup with a few white beans thrown in. This is what they call a “bowl” and its about $6. The “cup” which is about the size of a larger coffee cup is about $3 and I had to ask for crackers or bread. Really? Wow.