A Deliciously Tasty Escarole Soup Recipe

Escarole is a green broad-leafed vegetable that is a member of the Chicory family. Other members of the Chicory family include Endive and Radicchio. Chicory greens tend to be bitter, although escarole is considered among the least bitter of these greens, and when cooked slightly, escarole’s bitterness becomes wonderfully tame.

Escarole resembles lettuce, although it delivers a healthy punch of fiber and vitamin A. It is usually available throughout the year at supermarkets and at local farmer’s markets when in season (which is fall and winter). Like most greens, the size of an escarole head will vary, some only the size of grapefruit – while others much bigger.

Escarole is often preferred when cooked in a soup or stew – when the leaves are slightly cooked/wilted rather than served raw, like in a salad. Escarole soup is a classic hearty Italian meal and the basis for the renowned and traditional Italian wedding soup.

How to Make a Deliciously Tasty Escarole Soup Recipe

This soup is chock full of escarole greens and pasta in a flavorful, garlicky broth; it’s both satisfying and healthy to serve any night of the week.

  • Preparation Time – 15 minutes.
  • Cooking Time – 20 minutes.
  • Total Prep & Cook Time – 35 minutes.
  • Serves – 4.

The List of Ingredients For This Escarole Soup Recipe

This Escarole Soup is an Italian classic. The recipe is a healthy, flavor-packed, satisfying soup with pasta and is ideal for a warming meal during the week.

  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil.
  • 1 Large Onion – Chopped.
  • 3 Garlic Cloves – Chopped.
  • 1 Pound of Escarole (About 5 Cups) – Cleaned & Chopped.
    Cleaning Escarole
    When purchasing fresh from the grocery store, escarole can still have dirt that needs to be removed before eating/cooking. So- soak the leaves in water before enjoying.
    Here is a simple cleaning method – fill your sink with cold water and soak the leaves for 10 minutes. Take the time to ensure the leftover dirt and soil is removed from all the leaves. Then, either run it through a salad spinner or lay it flat on a towel/paper towel and pat dry.
    Substitutions for Escarole
    For those who wish, you can substitute escarole with Swiss chard, beet greens, Tuscan kale, dandelion greens, or even spinach.
  • 1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice.
    Optional – lemon juice is a great way to cut leftover bitterness and brighten the savory components of the escarole soup recipe.
  • 4 Cups of Chicken Stock – Low Sodium is the Preferred Option.
  • 1 Ounce Parmesan Cheese Rind – about 2 Inches in length.
    Optional – the rind, which is removed before serving, adds richness, nuttiness, and depth of flavor.
  • 8 Ounces of Ditalini or other kinds of Pasta – leftover pasta works well and saves time.
  • Salt & Pepper – To Taste.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Grated For Topping
    Pro-tip – many prefer Pecorino Romano rather than parmesan – this is especially true for those with a sensitivity to cow’s milk – Pecorino Romano is a hard sheep’s milk cheese.
  • Red Pepper Flakes- Optional To Taste.

Cooking Directions For This Deliciously Tasty Escarole Soup

As noted above, escarole’s bitterness mellows a bit when cooked; however, if you cook this green leafy veggie too long, it will result in an excessively bitter and unpleasant taste. This is the reason that, in the cooking directions below, the escarole is added near the end of the cooking process – with just enough time to cook and wilt down into the flavorful broth.

The cooking directions for this delicious and nutritious soup require only one pot if you happen to have some leftover cooked pasta –

  • Wash and prepare the escarole leaves you intend to use in the soup.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat.
  • Add the chopped onion and cook until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add the chopped garlic and cook for another 60 seconds.
  • Add the stock of your choice, salt and pepper, and the Parmesan cheese rind.
  • Add the escarole and allow the leaves to wilt in the stock.
  • Cover and simmer until the escarole texture you prefer.
  • While the soup simmers, add and cook the pasta. [If pasta is not cooked, let the pasta cook until al dente.]
  • Remove the parmesan rind and then sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
  • Add the lemon juice, and taste to adjust the soup’s seasoning.
  • Ladle the pasta in soup bowls and serve hot.

Tips/Tricks For Crafting this Delicious Escarole Soup

Escarole can be a very bitter green. The outermost leaves tend to be the most bitter, so for those who prefer a less bitter taste from the leaves, remove the outer leaves and use the heart of the escarole.


Can this Escarole Soup Recipe Be Stored in the Refrigerator?

The leftover escarole soup can keep for approximately three days when properly sealed and stored in the refrigerator.
Pro-tip -The pasta left in the escarole soup will continue to absorb the leftover broth as it sits while stored. So, you might need to add more water or broth when reheating and after the escarole soup has been in the fridge for a few days.

How to Choose the Freshest Escarole at the Supermarket?

If you have not bought escarole, it is best to find the freshest escarole in cooler months. When selecting from a few options in the store, choose an escarole that has firm, bright leaves.

What is the Nutritional Information for this Deliciously Tasty Escarole Soup?

One serving of this incredibly delicious and satisfying soup is quite filling, with 421 calories. However, within one serving is 18 grams of protein, several grams of fiber, and a variety of vitamins as well.

What Pairs Best With this Deliciously Tasty Escarole Soup?

Escarole soup is often accompanied by some fresh and crusty Italian Bread and a small, fresh, and bright side salad – which helps cut through the natural richness of the soup.

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