Thursday, May 5, 2011

Escarole and White Bean Soup

This one is for my friends cooking in OZ. It is about to become soup season down under, so I thought I would do one of my favorite soups. I love any soup with beans in it, and this one is very creamy, hearty, and good.

1/2 pound Escarole (Chicory)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ounces prosciutto, chopped
5 cups chicken stock
1 can (15ounce) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
black pepper, fresh ground
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Cut the base off the escarole, then rinse and spin dry. Cut the leaves crosswise into strips 1/4 " wide. Set aside. In a 12", deep dutch oven, heat the olive oil over 12 charcoals ( Heat beads. I love calling them that.) Add onions, garlic, and prosciutto. Cook stirring often, until the onions are limp, 3 to 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and beans. Cover and bring to a boil, with 17 to 18 charcoals on top. When soup starts to boil, remove top heat, and reduce bottom heat to 9 charcoals. Stir in escarole and cook just until wilted, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into soup bowls and serve hot. Pass the Parmesan at the table to sprinkle on top of soup.

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