Tuesday, June 10, 2008

escarole soup.

Escarole was always a major staple in my household while I was growing up. My mom cooked it weekly, usually throwing it together with a whole lot of garlic, olive oil, and white beans. Sometimes it would be in a broth, sometimes it would be mixed with pasta, but it would always be tasty. We would eat leftovers for days, almost until she made it again.

At the farmer's market on Sunday, I bought the biggest and most beautiful head of escarole I have ever seen. In typical Portland fashion, it was a June rainy day and I was craving soup, so I chopped up my lovely head of it and made a very delicious escarole soup from the June 2004 issue of Bon Appetit. It tasted so fresh and healthy and completely hit the spot on this very un-summery day.

Escarole Soup with Garbonzo Beans and Pasta: from Bon Appetit


2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 14 1/2-ounce cans vegetable broth
2 cups (about) water, divided
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice with Italian herbs
1/2 cup farfallini or other small pasta (I used alphabet pasta!)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
5 cups thinly sliced escarole
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Heat oil in pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add broth, 1 cup water, and tomatoes with juice; bring to boil. Add pasta; cover and boil until pasta is tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Add marjoram, beans, then escarole. Simmer until escarole is tender, about 5 minutes, adding up to 1 cup water if pasta absorbs broth. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.


bunbunbun said...

Hello! I was wondering if you had any suggestions on a quick yummy recipe for squash? I'm vegetarian and have little time to prep.

Alicia Carrier said...

Hi! There are millions of things you can do with squash! Plus, it depends on what kind of squash you have! A quick google will probably come up with lots of recipes, but here are some things I like:

Roasted butternut squash soup- just roast a squash and a handful of whatever veggies (onion, garlic, etc.) and blend together with a small amount of vegetable broth in a blender or food processor.

I add zucchini and squash to most of my stir fry recipes.

Uh... sorry, I'm having a hard time coming up with more stuff without knowing what kind of squash you have. Plus, it's not really squash season anymore. Except for those tiny sunburst squash- I like to just cut those up into chunks and roast them in a pan with whole cloves of garlic, chunks of onion, olive oil, and grape tomatoes.

Krystal said...

Thanks Alicia!
I just found out that I have an Acorn Squash. Will the soup recipe work for that particular squash? Any more suggestions?

Alicia Carrier said...

for acorn squashes, i usually just hollow out the seeds and stuff them with some kind of wild rice-vegetable pilaf type thing.

i've never made acorn squash soup, but i don't know if it's sweet enough to make the soup taste really good, i just like butternut squash. you can try it if you'd like! i like to roast (just all together on a baking sheet) onions (sliced in half, face down) garlic (a whole bulb, wrapped in foil and brushed with olive oil) maybe a shallot, whatever you have around that is good, everything with olive oil. and then my secret ingredient is roasted poblano pepper! cut in half and seed, brush with oil, and roast til skin is crackling and starting to brown! then you can cool it and peel off the skins, and puree it into the soup.

good luck!

mamadurf said...

My husband surprisingly loved this. Thanks!