And again, another vegetable that us vegetarians over here don't particularly care for. Escarole. If you remember last year, we tried it and promptly decided to eat something else. But this one topped the cake.
Side note: I am watching Top Chef Just Desserts right now and drooling, you may see something pumpkin and chocolate coming up soon.
Escarole belongs to that class of bitter vegetables that apparently we Americans are not all too fond of. I think the trick in this soup was not only the simmering of the greens, but also the strong flavored ingredients which must balance out the bitter. I also think that the addition of a bit of acid helps plead escarole's cause. Even if you don't like escarole, please make this and let me know what you think!
White Bean Escarole Soup (based on Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen)
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 T olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped
6 c vegetable stock
2 t fennel seeds
1 head of escarole, sliced into 1" strands, then chopped
3 T tomato paste
rind of parmesan
1 T dried basil
salt and pepper
seperately sauted sausage (we love morning star farms breakfast sausage)
Heat T of oil in a large pot, then add onion and garlic and saute for 3 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients except for the broth, parmesan rind, and escarole. Saute for 2 minutes. Add broth, rind, and escarole, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about a 1/2 hour.
If using sausage, especially vegetarian sausage, I strongly suggest cooking it until browned in a seperate pan, then adding to each bowl right before serving. Imitation meat tends to soak up all the liquid so it should be left out till the last minute. But, if you use vegetarian sausage- no cholesterol! And no leftover parts used!