Friday, November 30, 2007

White Bean & Escarole Soup

I love Soup Weather~there is nothing quite like cooking up a nice pot of soup & warming up all the way through at dinner time.

1 head escarole, cored
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound Italian sausage
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped or shredded carrots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons dry thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cans of cannellini beans, drained, navy beans are also good
3 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Blanche the escarole in boiling water for 1 minute. Rinse it in cold water.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add Italian sausage and brown it on both sides.
Bake sausage in the oven for approximately 12-15 minutes or until it is cooked through. Drain excess oil from the sausage (I blot the excess with a paper towel), chop sausage into bite-sized pieces.
In a medium stock pot, combine the onion, the carrots, the garlic, the water and the 2nd tablespoon of olive oil. Simmer the mixture over medium heat until the onions are clear.
Stir in the thyme, bay leaf, cannellini beans and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Take half of the mixture and purée it in a food processor or blender.
Return the puréed mixture to the stock pot. Stir in the sausage and the escarole. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer for an additional 5 minutes and serve.
This makes 6 large servings or 8 medium-size.

*I have used both Kale & Escarole in this soup. You can also leave the sausage out entirely to make it veggie only or change up the sausage according to taste.

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