Cannellini Bean and Escarole Soup

Cannellini Bean and Escarole Soup
With Winter refusing to fly north for the Spring, and last night's Easter Feast still digesting, I decided to make something a little more on the nutritious side tonight. Not that White Bean and Escarole Soup is not delicious, it is and very good for you too. It's a whole meal in a bowl. As I'm reaching middle age, dare I say, I am trying to eat a healthier diet. My diet has been pretty much the same my whole life -- I can eat whatever I like without to many repercussions. The only setback I have had to date is no coffee and donuts. Not good on the early morning digestion. Maybe I'll try popping a Pepcid first next time.

This recipe is a basic soup base. Add any number of ingredients to it to change it up. I especially like escarole in soup because it retains a little crunch even when cooked. Add cooked chicken or sausage. Change the escarole to bok choy and a dash of sesame oil and soy sauce for a more Asian flair. Use a combo of chicken and vegetable stocks with a little beef stock to give your soup a rich flavor.  Mix up the kinds of beans - black, kidney, garbanzo. Clean out the fridge and the pantry. That's what I did. I'm the only one who ate this tonight. No Thank You Boy is still eating the hard boiled eggs that they dyed for Easter and the girls made paninis with the Easter ham. Love to see those leftovers move!

White Bean and Escarole Soup

serves 8

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups onion, chopped
4 carrots, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 cups chicken stock
1 can cannellini beans, drained
1 teaspoon dried thyme
pinch of red pepper flakes
6 cups escarole, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

In a large stock pot, saute the onions in the olive oil for about 8 - 10 minutes. Add the carrots and garlic and saute another 5 minutes. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add beans, thyme and red pepper flakes. Simmer about 10 minutes. Add the escarole and simmer a 4 - 6 minutes to slightly wilt the leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

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