Escarole and White Bean Soup

(from SUNSET, February 05)

Makes 8 cups, 4 servings.  Prep time:  about 30 minutes

      8 ounces escarole

      1 tablespoon olive oil

      1 onion (8 oz.) peeled and chopped

      2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

      1/3 cup prosciutto or Wesphalian Ham (1 ounce)

      5 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth

      1 can (15 oz.) cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained

      Salt and pepper

      Grated parmesan cheese

1.  Cut base off escarole; rinse and drain leaves.  Cut leaves crosswise into 1[1]/4 inch strips.

2.  Set a 4- to 5-quart pan over medium-high heat.  When hot, add oil, onion, garlic, and prosciutto; stir often until onion is limp,three to five minutes.

3.   Add broth and beans, cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Stire in escarole and cook just until wilted, about 1 minute.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Ladle into bowls and offer cheese to add to taste.


Note:  I think you can substitute almost any green leafy vegetable for the escarole.  I have used freshly-picked kale with excellent results