PS: For those observing Lent this will be a great meatless dish for your Friday dinner. Enjoy!
PPS: if you're gluten-free - skip my beloved croutons!
Soup Ingredients (adapted from Food & Wine's Cannellini & Escarole Soup with Garlic Oil Recipe by Grace Parisi:
- 1 small head of escarole, coarsely chopped (I buy the pre-washed & cut kind in a bag - if you can't find it at your super market substitute some fresh baby spinach in)
- 4 garlic cloves—1 minced, 3 crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- salt & pepper
- 1 can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 can pinto beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained & rinsed
- 2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, separated
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino cheese
- 3-4 thick slices of day old bread, I used ciabatta
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet.
- Add the escarole, minced garlic and crushed red pepper and season with salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring, until the escarole wilts, about 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, using an immersion blender (or a blender or food processor) puree half of the beans with the chicken stock until smooth.
- Add the pureed & whole beans, & 1 1/2 cups of water to the saucepan & bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook until the escarole is tender, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small skillet, cook the crushed garlic in the oil over moderate heat until golden; discard the garlic.
- Drizzle the soup with the garlic oil and sprinkle with the Pecorino.
Make the croutons!
- Pre-heat broiler.
- Cut the bread into 1/2 inch cubes.
- In a large mixing bowl toss with olive oil, salt & pepper.
- Spread evenly on a cookie sheet (don’t over lap).
- Broil for 2 minutes & then shake the cookie sheet so that all sides have a chance to brown.
- Broil for a few more minutes or until golden brown.
- Let the croutons cool so you can handle them (snacking is encouraged).
- Top soup with crusty croutons.