Zuppa di scarola e fagioli (Escarole and Bean Soup)

In Campania, primi piatti, Soups by Frank7 Comments

Here’s a quick and easy dish, typical of the Campania region of Italy, that is a cold weather weeknight staple at our house: escarole and bean soup.

Ingredients

  • 1 small head of escarole, cut into fine ribbons
  • 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 450g (15 oz) boiled or canned cannellini or borlotti beans
  • Water or broth, to cover
  • Salt, to taste

To finish the dish:

  • 1 slice of good, crusty bread, even better if homemade
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

You begin, as always, with a soffrittoby sweating a thinly sliced onion in olive oil until translucent, then add a small head of escarole, sliced into very fine ribbons. Cover and allow the escarole to reduce, mixing from time to time so they absorb the flavor of the soffritto.

Then add the boiled or canned cannellini or borlotti beans, along with enough water or broth to cover the ingredients. Cover and allow to simmer until the escarole and beans are quite soft, about 15-20 minutes. If, like me, you like a thick soup, then along the way crush some of the beans with a wooden spoon against the side of the pot.

Place slices of day old bread, either toasted or fried in olive oil if you like, in the bottom of your soup bowls, then pour the soup over. Drizzle with un filo d’olio, top with a generous grinding of black pepper and serve.

Notes

If you like a little heat, you can add some red pepper flakes to the soffritto. For a bit more assertive taste, make the soffritto with garlic, either instead of or along with the onion. And for a meatier dish, you can add some pancetta and/or cook the soffritto in lard instead of olive oil. And if you would like your soup in rosso, add a bit of tomato purée after the soffritto is done, allowing it to reduce before you add your escarole. Some recipes call for blanching and squeezing the escarole dry before adding it to the pot, but I find this unnecessary.

Zuppa di scarola e fagioli (Escarole and Bean Soup)

Rating: 51

Total Time: 30 minutes

Zuppa di scarola e fagioli (Escarole and Bean Soup)

Ingredients

  • 1 small head of escarole, cut into fine ribbons
  • 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 450g (15 oz) boiled or canned cannellini or borlotti beans
  • Water or broth, to cover
  • Salt, to taste
  • To finish the dish:
  • 1 slice of good, crusty bread, even better if homemade
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. You begin, as always, with a soffrittoby sweating a thinly sliced onion in olive oil until translucent, then add a small head of escarole, sliced into very fine ribbons. Cover and allow the escarole to reduce, mixing from time to time so they absorb the flavor of the soffritto.
  2. Then add the boiled or canned cannellini or borlotti beans, along with enough water or broth to cover the ingredients. Cover and allow to simmer until the escarole and beans are quite soft, about 15-20 minutes. If, like me, you like a thick soup, then along the way crush some of the beans with a wooden spoon against the side of the pot.
  3. Place slices of day old bread, either toasted or fried in olive oil if you like, in the bottom of your soup bowls, then pour the soup over. Drizzle with un filo d'olio, top with a generous grinding of black pepper and serve.
http://memoriediangelina.com/2009/11/03/zuppa-di-scarola-e-fagioli/

Comments

  1. This was a very popular dish in my Italian American neighborhood in New Haven. Another local favorite on many menus was a dish called Pane Cotto. Basically you would take your escarole and bean soup (make it on the thick side or use it the next day when it has thickened a bit) and mix in some grated parmesan cheese. Fold in some cubes of day old bread, put the mixture in a baking dish, top with more cheese and bake for about 15-20 minutes at 350 until the top is golden brown.

    It’s often served as an appetizer but makes a great entree when paired with some grilled Italian Sausage.

  2. with a nip in the air, I think I could go for this right now, this morning… so tasty looking, love the bread bottom and yes, ya gotta smash a few to make a saucy, thick gravy-like consistency…

  3. I not only love the flavors here but the ease and simplicity to make this. Sometimes soups can be time consuming with a lot of prep work but not this one. All of the flavors shine. Think about making this soup the next time the weather is wintery or you are feeling under the weather and just don't feel like cooking. You won't be disappointed.

    D. Ortega (FB)

  4. This looks fab. I am saving this!!! I am living in a small hotel room with TWO BURNERS!!!! For only a short time, but this will be a perfect dish!!

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