Escarole a sturdy salad green that belongs to the endive family has a milder flavor than its chicory and Belgian endive relatives. Tuscans use it as the green element in white bean soup, though in a different form than appears here. Instead of being stirred into the soup, it is used as a topping. It wilts just slightly and stays bright green and fresh.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
- Cooking Time: 30 Minutes
- 2 bulbs garlic
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped fennel (1 bulb)
- ⅔ cup chopped leeks
- ⅓ cup chopped onion (1 small)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
- 1 cup half-and-half or light cream
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 6 (½-inch) slices baguette-style French bread
- 6 slices Swiss cheese (about 3 ounces)
- 4 cups lightly packed torn escarole or spinach
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut off the top ½ inch of the garlic bulbs to expose ends of individual cloves. Leaving bulbs whole, remove any loose papery outer layers. Place bulbs, cut ends up, on a double thickness of foil. Drizzle bulbs with the 1 teaspoon olive oil. Bring foil edges up around bulbs to loosely enclose. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until garlic feels soft when squeezed. Let cool. Squeeze garlic from skins into a small bowl; mash with a fork.
- In a large saucepan cook fennel, leeks, and onion in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender and caramelized, stirring occasionally. Add half of the roasted garlic, the broth, and 1½ cans (2⅔ cups) of the beans. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Place mixture in a food processor or blender. Cover and process or blend until smooth. Return mixture to the saucepan.
- Add the remaining beans, half-and-half, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice to pureed mixture in saucepan. Cook over low heat until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet. Broil 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly toasted, turning once. Spread toast with the remaining roasted garlic. Place a cheese slice on each toast slice. Broil until cheese melts and begins to brown.
- In a large bowl whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Add escarole; toss to coat.
- To serve, divide soup among 6 soup bowls. Top with baguette toasts and escarole.
Serving Size 1
Nutritional Value Per Serving
Calories from Fat:
% Daily Value*
* Above mentioned %DVs (Percent Daily Values) are based on 2,000 calorie food intake.
DVs (Daily values) may be vary depending upon individuals daily calorie needs. Above nutritional values are estimates and should only be used as a guide for approximation. They are not allfoodchef.com recommendations. Calculations are based on average weight of 194 lbs. and ages of 19 to 50 years.