Total Time:
30 min
15 min
15 min

4 servings

  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/8 pound pancetta, sliced and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan in a slow stream) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 pounds escarole, washed and coarsely chopped (2 medium bunches or 1 large bunch)
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans, cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 quart prepared chicken stock or broth
  • A couple pinches ground nutmeg or fresh grated nutmeg
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, for topping
  • Warm, crusty bread, for mopping

In a deep, large, heavy pot over moderate heat, saute garlic and pancetta in extra-virgin olive oil for 3 minutes. Add onions and cook 1 or 2 minutes longer.

Add the greens and wilt them down to fit them all in the pot. Add beans, broth, and nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cook over moderate to medium-high heat for 12 minutes, or until greens are no longer bitter. Serve with shaved cheese, bread, and good red wine.

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    17 Degrees in Detroit Today. The Minestra definitely hit the spot. Unfortunately the Lions didn't. Great job Rachael!
    LOVE this recipe. This will be the 3rd Fall/Winter making it. It is one way of getting my husband to enjoy eating greens. I always use Kale ~ such a beautiful, dark green. Thanks, Rachael, for sharing this delish dish. Easy to make and a pleasure to mangiare!
    For some strange reason I was craving soup in the middle of summer, and I happened to find this recipe. This was so simple, and sooooo delicious! I just served it with a slice of garlic bread, and it was the perfect meal (probably for the winter next time though!) It also led me to see the panini recipe from this episode too, and I'll be trying that one tomorrow! Loved it!
    To the person who 'got sick' - there's no chicken in this recipe - really tired of people not following recipes and coming up with stories about how bad it is
    I LOVE making this soup! My family loves it too. Very easy to make. If I don't have pancetta I use bacon which gives it a slightly different taste but equally yummy. At first I was hesitant to add the nutmeg but OH MY GOODNESS...it is a must! The toated garlic bread is perfect with this soup. With so few ingredients, this is a delicious meal that is budget friendly and gets better and better the next day and the next....if it lasts that long. My family can eat the whole pot in one night...especially on a cold day/evening. Enjoy all!
    Obviously I know I cooked it wrong and possibly gave myself food poisoning. But I'm still going to comment on this dish. I am really ill from making this, I've been on the toilet at least five times. I am uncomfortable I wish I had a cushion to elevate my buttocks because its left me with some kind of stomach flu. Well lets get down to it: be sure to prepare this dish cooking the pancetta or in my case the bacon seperately and then sear the chicken until it is brown on all sides. I coated mine with a balsamic glaze and used the bacon gristle from the pan to flavor the chicken.This is the end of my special tips, but my advice is to use greens and not frozen spinach- if you do you will end up with a gungey mess. Also the grains I used soaked up all the liquid. Rachel! We all wish you could spend more time on your recipes, you can't just spend 30 mins when sometimes the pain lasts for days.
    Great recipe. Though it is great the first day, it gets even better the next. Only changes I made was using lower sodium broth and added 1/2 c. uncooked orzo (and let cook for 15 minutes). Just added a little something. Made numerous times and is one of my "go to" recipes.
    This soup was awesome. Use low sodium chicken stock and add your own salt. I was excited to have leftovers the next day except it was all gone the first day.

    Love, love, love.....try it, you won't be disappointed,
    why change the ingredients until you have followed the recipe and see the results yourself? I don't get that.
    This is a wonderful/wholesome soup. Very authentic Italian tasting.
    i.m always looking for a new recipe and Rachael never let's me down. She is an awesome cook and my kind of cooking gal!!!!
    I was a bit skeptical of this with so few ingredients - thought it would be too plain. But it was delicious! I think the sprinkle of nutmeg added a lot. I cut the oil in half, used deli sliced ham instead of pancetta, and was very healthy and filling - a whole bowl was 196 cals! Fantastic for dieting without having a recipe that tastes like it.
    I've made this recipe a few times, and I absolutely love it. It's fast and reliable, and makes it easy to eat your greens and your beans:) Today I had no escarole in the house, only swiss chard, so I used that. It was even better! I found that the chard held up better, with a perfect texture after 10 minutes of simmering, and the taste was great. I've never cooked with chard before, and I had thought it might be bitter.
    This is an awesome comfort food for a cold, winter day. It is soooo easy, yet delicious! I omitted the meat altogether to make it vegetarian and the flavors were awesome. One addition I did do was I added some chopped jalapenos for a kick and a parmasean rind instead of salt. Will make it again and again...
    As with all of her soups, this one is easy and excellent! Starting with the pacetta is a must as it adds a wonderful base flavor. I also tried using baby spinach when I didn't have any escarole on hand, just as yummy! A wonderful and filling meal for any night of the week.
    Good recipe, a little high on the sodium though. And it took me a whole lot longer to prepare than 30 minutes. I think 30 minutes is just the cooking time. It took me about 45 minutes to prep.
    This was an easy way to make one my family's favorite recipes. It takes hardly any chopping and I substitue sausage for panchetta sometimes and its great.
    The leftovers only get better. And don't forget extra crusty bread for dunking.
    I absolutely love this recipe! It's fast, easy and delicious. Definitely will be added to my list of comfort foods!
    I've made this a few times and it's delicious and comforting.
    This soup was so good! It was very easy to make and had such a great flavor to it. Like some of the other reviews, I also found it was even better after letting it sit for a few days. I will definitely be making this more often.
    I have made this soup again and again and each time it is wonderful - make enough for leftovers it is delicious the next day.
    The day I made this I wasn't able to find escarole in my local market so I opted for green chard instead. The soup still came out great but it took the chard a little longer to cook. We loved the garlicky cheesy flavor.
    This recipe was extremely easy to make. I had this soup for dinner the night I made it and I thought it was OK. However, it got better and better the next day - the flavors have developed and deepened. I liked it and I'm craving it as I'm writing this review.
    Found escarole in my neighborhood market. Looked for something to do with it. Tried this yesterday. Will make it over and over again. We loved it. Simple and tasty.
    This was very easy to make and very good. If I couldn't find pancetta i was going to substitute bacon, but found the pancetta easily at my local food store. I will definitely make this again and again.
    This is one of the easiest, and certainly the very best soup I ever made. My whole family loved it, and I am sure it will become a standard in my kitchen. Thanks.
    This soup was delicious. Like all soups, sitting for at least one day really improves the flavor. Chopped up the greens so not so hard to eat. Also did not add nutmeg, as I don't like nutmeg on anything. Added some Minor's Ham base at the end and really added wonderful flavor. Will make again and again.
    I have made Rachel's minestra about six times and everytime I just love it more. So nice and cozy on a cold day. It feels like I'm eating really healthy, too. Thanks for the recipe Rachel! Patty Stowell
    Use fresh organic everything. You won't be disappointed!
    My husband is Italian and we make an escarole and bean soup that is similar but the only "meat" is anchoives. Always loved that soup, and this one brings it up a notch. I could not find panchetta, so I added about 1 lb. of hot italian sausage. A little more meat than the recipe called for- but oh man it was great! We had this with Rachel Ray's Panini recipe. My family was happy.
    Get the good parm, pancetta, and the stock for this and you won't be sorry. My 7 year old daughter had two huge bowls. My new favorite soup!
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