Soup’s on: Escarole, bean, and sausage soup
It is fall. The temperatures are cooling off.
It is that time of the year. Soup time. Around this time I start making broths. I freeze them in quart containers so I have them for soup or other uses. I make the stock, prep everything else, then soup’s on.
I am a soup guy. I could eat soup everyday of the week.
I saw some nice escarole at the market the other day. My mother and father used to make escarole and bean soup, sometimes with sausage.
The nice thing about this soup is you can adapt it to any ingredients you have on hand. You can make it meatless, using vegetable stock and adding sliced carrots for taste and color, replace the sausage with ham, chicken, or other meats.
This is a nice hardy soup, a meal in a bowl. Add some bread and you have a feast.
This soup freezes well too.
One pound Great Northern beans (Cannellini beans)
1½-2 pounds of mild or hot Italian sausage
Two medium heads of escarole
4 cloves of garlic, diced
2 quarts of unsalted chicken stock
One large tomato, seeded and diced or one 14 ounce can diced tomato- (Optional)
Fresh ground black pepper
Pinch or two of red pepper flakes (Optional)
1 tsp. ground fennel seeds or anise. (Optional)
In an bowl, cover beans with water and let soak for several hours or over night.
Place beans in a large stock pot with two cups of water and one quart of stock. Bring to boil, then simmer until tender.
Brown sausage, if using, the cut into bite sized pieces.
Chop the escarole. Place escarole in pan used to brown the sausage. Season with salt, brown and wilt it. Add garlic and cook for two minutes.
Place escarole, sausage, remaining stock, pepper flakes, and fennel, if using into the pot of beans. Add some black pepper and red pepper flakes, if using. Bring to temperature and simmer for fifteen minutes or until sausage is cooked and escarole is very tender.
Add tomatoes and cook for one minute more.
Serve or put up in containers.