While growing up in Africa, I vividly remember a French woman visiting us who one day cooked up some lettuce. I couldn’t believe it! We were simply amazed! However, now that I’ve come to enjoy escarole, I wonder if perhaps that’s where the French woman got the idea for cooking up lettuce. I don’t think she cooked escarole, because we didn’t have it in our garden. But I’m guessing you could cook up Romaine or almost any lettuce with much the same results. Except for iceberg lettuce, of course. That probably shouldn’t even be classified as lettuce but as plastic.

Escarole, a variety of endive, is available year-round here in Italy. The heads–as you can see in this photo–are large and spread out.

The underneath side is usually rather ugly–probably due to the fact that so much of it was near to the soil.

I just cut off the bottoms,, and wash up the broad leaves in a basin of cold water…then cut up the leaves into strips.

Escarole is high in folic acid, fiber and vitamins A and K. I occasionally toss a few of the center, lighter-colored leaves into a salad but most often I saute it, add some broth and make soup! Sometimes I add a little rice; other times a few tortellini, and often some soy beans or cannellini beans. I might even add a little poached chicken if I want a bit more protein and a heartier meal.

Since I showed this Escarole Soup in my last post about making Bread Bowls, I thought you’d like to have the recipe. I make it often and feel instantly healthy! If you don’t have escarole where you live, try making it with some other greens–I’m sure it will be delicious.

Ciao!

Debbie

Escarole Soup Recipe

Yield: Serves 4-6

Escarole Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 small head escarole
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 T. butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 C. (1.5 liters) chicken stock
  • 1/2 C. (100 g) uncooked rice or 1 C. (100 g) tortellini
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Wash and trim escarole and cut in 1/2-inch (1.5 cm) strips.
  2. Saute the onion in butter or olive oil until transparent.
  3. Add the escarole, sprinkle with salt and saute 4 minutes.
  4. Add the broth, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add the rice or tortellini and cook an additional 15 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan if desired.
http://ciaofromdebbie.com/recipes/soups-stews-recipes/escarole-soup-recipe/

Variation

To add more protein, omit the rice or pasta and add a can of white beans (drained) and some cooked chicken (diced).

This recipe for Escarole Soup is on page 51 of  O Taste & See Some More!.

3 Comments

  1. 1-19-2012

    THANKS FOR THE DELICIOUS SOUP RECIPE.I WAS GOING TO COOK IT FOR THE EVENING MEAL, BUT RAN OUT OF TIME.
    thanks so much for sharing.
    I love soup recipes….especially when it is -30 out of doors…
    alvina

  2. 2-28-2012

    Jessie shared with me your website. My sister and I really love your cookbook and now having this site we’ll follow you more often. Thanks God for your talent.
    Ellie

    • 2-28-2012

      I’m glad you love the cookbook–and found my blog! I’ll hope to meet you next time I’m in NC!

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