White Bean and Escarole Soup

  • Total: 30 min
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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2 tablespoons olive oil

2 ounces pancetta or prosciutto, diced

1/2 cup diced onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 head escarole, (about 1 pound) trimmed, washed, and coarsely chopped 

Two 15 ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup chopped canned whole tomatoes

5 cups homemade or canned low-sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Serving suggestions:
  2. Drizzle each serving with extra-virgin olive oil and/or sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan and serve with a good crusty bread.
  3. In a soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat, add the pancetta, and saute for about 5 minutes. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onion and saute until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary, and pepper flakes; saute for 3 minutes more. Add the escarole, stirring until wilted, about 2 minutes more. Add the beans, tomato, broth, and salt; bring to a boil. Lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the reserved pancetta and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with the oil and/or cheese and the crusty bread.

Cook’s Note

Swiss chard is a welcome substitute for escarole.

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