Recipe courtesy of Gourmet Magazine

White Bean, Wheat Berry, and Escarole Soup

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  • Total: 2 hr 35 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 2 hr 15 min
  • Yield: 15 cups
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1 pound dried baby lima beans or other dried white beans, picked over and soaked

2 ham hocks

2/3 cup wheat berries (see Cook's Note)

8 cups water

2 cups chicken broth

2 medium onions, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

3 celery ribs, chopped

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled

1 head escarole (about 1 pound), coarsely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced


  1. In a bowl soak beans in water to cover by 2 inches overnight or quick-soak and drain. In a heavy kettle (at least 5 quarts) simmer ham hocks and wheat berries in water and broth, covered, 1 hour. Add drained beans and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and skim froth. Add onions, carrots, celery, bay leaf, and rosemary and simmer, covered, until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Transfer ham hocks with a slotted spoon to a cutting board. Discard fat and bones and chop meat and set aside.
  2. In a blender or food processor puree 3 cups of the soup. Stir puree into soup with the chopped meat and the escarole and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes. Stir in garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Soup may be made 4 days ahead (cool uncovered before chilling covered.)

Cook’s Note

Wheat berries are available at natural foods stores and some specialty foods shops.

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