Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Tomato and White Bean Soup with Escarole

Tomato and White Bean Soup with Escarole


This healthy and tasty soup makes a quick main course

Homemade tomato soup? Yes!

Add beans and a leafy green (like escarole) to the mix, and you have a hearty one-pot dinner.

OK, you could add some crusty bread and maybe a salad if you want a bit more. It would still be a quick and easy weeknight meal.

For a weekend dinner, just add a glass of wine. Red or white – your choice.



Tomato and White Bean Soup with Escarole

Recipe: Tomato and White Bean Soup with Escarole

We use canned tomatoes and beans for this dish because we always have them in our pantry. And so this soup can be a last-minute idea.

Prep time for this dish is about 15 minutes. Cooking adds another 30 to 35 minutes (mostly unattended).

This recipe makes 4 to 6 main-course servings. Leftovers keep for a few days if refrigerated in an airtight container. Or you can freeze them for several months.

Ingredients
  • 1 onion (yellow or white)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or other oil of choice)
  • salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon kosher salt for us; see Notes)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste (about half a dozen grinds for us)
  • 2 15-ounce cans white beans
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (may substitute water)
  • 1 small bunch of escarole (can substitute another green; see Notes)
Procedure
  1. Peel the onion and cut it into ½-inch dice. Peel the garlic and mince it or slice it thinly.
  2. Place a 4-quart cooking pot on medium stovetop heat. When hot, add the oil. When the oil is heated (about 15 seconds; it’ll shimmer), add the chopped onion and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the onion is translucent (about 5 minutes).
  3. While the onion is cooking, open the beans and pour them into a strainer or colander that you’ve set in the kitchen sink. Rinse off the gunk the beans are stored in. When the onion is translucent, add the chopped garlic, red pepper flakes, and dried thyme. Sauté for 1 minute. Then add the white beans and tomatoes, along with enough stock or water to produce a “soupy” consistency. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, wash the escarole and tear it into small pieces. Just before you’re ready to serve, add the escarole to the soup pot and cook until tender – a minute or two. 
  5. Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary, then ladle up the soup.
Tomato and White Bean Soup with Escarole

Notes
  • We like to use cannellini beans in this dish. But any kind of white bean (such as Great Northerns) will work.
  • Escarole seems to have a particular affinity for white beans (its flavor blends especially well with them). 
  • Escarole is part of the chicory family, which also includes Belgian endive and radicchio. Escarole’s flavor is less sharp and bitter than that of its vegetable cousins, though. Escarole is very tender and cooks quickly.
  • Although escarole is considered a “green,” in the supermarket it’s often shelved with lettuce, not with other greens like kale. In fact, it looks rather like leafy lettuce.
  • Don’t want to use escarole? Almost any green will work. We particularly like to use kale or Swiss chard in soup, but use whatever you fancy. Do note that other greens will probably take longer to cook than escarole.
  • We use dried thyme in this soup, but other herbs would work too. Oregano or marjoram would be particularly nice. Or chop some fresh rosemary to add to the mix. You could even stir in some fresh basil when you add the escarole.
  • We use kosher salt for cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the flakes are larger and coarser, so they pack a measure less tightly). If using regular table salt, start with about half as much as we suggest. But always season to your taste, not ours.
  • Want to garnish this soup? Just sprinkle on some chopped parsley. Or maybe some grated cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano would be quite nice). You could even use chopped nuts – walnuts or pecans, for example. Or a chopped hard-boiled egg.
Tomato and White Bean Soup with Escarole

Coloring Outside the Lines

“The escarole is a nice touch,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Adds lots of flavor and texture.”

“Extra color too,” I said. “Solid-gold recipe.”

“Not to mention red hot,” said Mrs K R.

“So you’re saying this is a blue-chip dish?” I asked.

“Yup, I’d green light this one,” said Mrs K R.

 “Gosh, thanks,” I said. “Glad to have your praise in black and white.”

In fact, I’m tickled pink.

You may also enjoy reading about:
Bean and Cabbage Soup
Cabbage, Kielbasa, and Black-Eyed Pea Soup
Corn, Zucchini, and Bean Soup
Cuban-Style Black Bean Soup
Kale, Quinoa, and White Bean Soup
Pasta e Fagioli Soup
Tuscan Bean and Pasta Soup
Or check out the index for more

68 comments:

  1. The weather has turned and it's definitely the perfect time for soup! We are fans of tomato soup around here and adding greens and beans make it dinner worthy!!

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    1. Hi Liz, the beans (and greens) are wonderful in this soup! Glad soup weather has finally arrived. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  2. Full on hearty soup! Love the additions of the beans and greens as it is a full meal. Going to try this recipe in the slow cooker as nice just to have ready when the crew is hungry.

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    1. Hi Bobbi, we need to try this in the slow cooker! Great idea. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  3. NIce to see tomatoes as a vegetable in a broth-based soup instead of as a blended background!

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Mae, we've been making a lot of brothy, veggie-based soups lately. And tomatoes are one of our favorite soup vegetables! Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Hi, John....I love this twist on tomato soup! All that healthy goodness ! Great recipe, thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Hi Pat, it's a fun soup, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  5. Yum! It looks hearty and delicious.

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    1. Hi Pam, it's good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  6. My kiddos do not like white beans.... their loss :). Love this I love all sorts of beans especially white and black eye one. This looks tasty.

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    1. Hi Amira, their loss indeed! Aren't beans wonderful? Love them all! Thanks for the comment.

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  7. This week has definitely been a soup week weather wise! This one is so colorful and delicious. I knwo I have said it before, but I love white beans. Great addition of escarole. Yep a nice thick slice of country bread for me too!

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    1. Hi Evelyne, pretty hard to resist some nice bread with this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  8. White bean soup is my absolute favorite soup and your version sounds fabulous, John! Bet it would be great too with the Parmigiano-Reggiano like you said, or walnuts! Never have put chopped nuts on soup before, sounds great. Thanks for the recipe, good eating!

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    1. Hi Pam, we don't often put chopped nuts on soup as a garnish, but it's a really nice addition -- particularly if it's a bean soup. Thanks for the comment.

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  9. I have been on a soup kick all month. White bean soup sounds like a great addition to my soup addiction. I always have canned tomatoes and beans in the pantry too, it makes last minute meals so easy.

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    1. Hi Dahn, we LOVE soup season! And we always have canned tomatoes and beans in our pantry for the same reason. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  10. I'll have mine with the crusty bread and the red wine, please. ;-) Soups are my favorite sort of one pot meal this time of year.

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    1. Hi Valentina, we have soup several times a week at this time of the year! Love it. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  11. It's finally cooling off here and I'm craving soup like crazy. This one looks so hearty and warming--delicious!

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    1. Hi Kelsie, this is really a wonderful dish. Enjoy! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  12. What a fabulous one pot dish, perfect for the chillier weather that has snuck in. I can see myself curling up in front of a roaring fire and enjoying this soup.
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com/

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    1. Hi Eva, this would be terrific to eat in front of a roaring fire! Thanks for the comment.

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  13. We had a first snow last week, so it is soup weather. I love the tomato and white bean combination. Great recipe!

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    1. Hi Dawn, brrr! It's too early for snow. Never too early for soup, though. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  14. Famtastic John I've earmarked this for entree tonight. You could keep the bean 'gunk' to make a vegan mayonnaise ... no I won't be either but your phrase vaused me to smile. The only ones who like escarole more than me in our household are the budgerigars and I can beat them to it, everytime. Great dish, beautiful photograph thank you ��

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    1. Hi Merryn, enjoy! You'll LOVE this -- SO good. And escarole is wonderful. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  15. I have never made a chunky tomato soup...the add of creamy white beans is definitely a winner in my book. The soup looks very tasty and perfect for the season, John.

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    1. Hi Angie, this is definitely a different sort of tomato soup! A good kind of different. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  16. this looks very good for you and fresh and delicious. escarole? lord knows what we call it here:=) Swiss chard is called silver beet here which sounds very earthy to me. Love your riffing. Mrs KR sounds a peach. cheers sherry

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    1. Hi Sherry, Mrs KR is a peach. :-) Don't you love how the same thing as different names in different countries? But it can be really confusing! Thanks for the comment.

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  17. Love soup season and it is finally here. (I know that some would say it's soup season all the time, but I need a chill in the air.)

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    1. Hi Debra, we do have soup every month of the year, but many, many more in soup season. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  18. I love soups this time of year, yours look so good☺

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    1. Hi Natalia, it's an excellent soup! :D Thanks for the comment.

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  19. Bean and tomato soup with greens are the best! However, I have never used Escarole which is an interesting choice. My go tos are chard and kale. Sounds like I need to shake things up a bit. Very nice and EASY recipe John! Thanks.

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    1. Hi MJ, we usually use kale and chard, too, but escarole is really good. And wonderful with beans! Thanks for the comment.

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  20. What else could be so comforting than this simple and healthy soup for this cold weather!!!! Absolutely loved it.

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    1. Hi Shibi, perfect cold weather fare. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  21. I am so ready for soup...I like the idea of adding greens...looks delicious and yes, it is a perfect main meal. Thanks for the recipe John...I hope you are having a wonderful week!

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    1. Hi Juliana, soup season is our favorite time of the year! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  22. I'm partial to cannellini beans and I don't think I've ever cooked with escarole. Need to hunt some down next time I'm at the store.

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    1. Hi Lea Ann, escarole has a nice flavor, and it's dynamite with cannellini beans. Thanks for the comment.

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  23. I love hearty and filling soups like this. It sounds like just the thing for this time of year!

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    1. Hi Caroline, it IS just the thing. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  24. The addition of a flavor packed greens really adds a punch to this bowl of comfort! As the days go shorter and cooler, a bowl of soup makes the best dinner.

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    1. Hi Deb, we love soup for dinner when the weather is cool! Had soup last night, as a matter of fact. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  25. That is one comforting vegetarian soup! Love the list of soups below the recipe as well.

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    1. Hi Denise, isn't it nice? We LOVE soup -- and serve it at least twice a week, usually more often, at this time of the year. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  26. At first I was reading 'escargot' instead of escarole- wouldn't that be something if you added some snails to the recipe! Might add some extra protein to the soup, but then again, I'm sure your soup is very tasty without them!

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    1. HI Fran, escargot would be fun! Have to add loads of butter and garlic, though. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  27. Sounds fantastic, John, especially as the weather cools! Love soups for supper!

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    1. Hi David, yup, soup makes for a good supper. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  28. This is my favorite kind of comfort food because it's full of healthy ingredients.

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    1. Hi Laura, and best of all it tastes fantastic. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. As we have just had our first hard frost and it's very fallish over this way, your soup is perfect. I love the pantry ingredients, which make it a breeze to through together for a weekend lunch. And, a cool glass of white.

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    1. Hi Ron, white is a good choice. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. I think it's finally soup season. I know some think it is year round but to me cooler temps mean soup. What a great one you chose to get me ready.

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    1. Hi Abbe, we do make soup during warm weather, but much, much more in the fall and winter. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  31. I've made this soup before! Thanks for reminding me of how delicious it is!

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    1. Hi Jeff, isn't this good stuff? Love the escarole in it! Thanks for the comment.

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  32. Fabulous! I somehow lost this email, but got it back now. A perfect fall soup.

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    1. Hi Mimi, this really is a terrific soup -- wonderful flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  33. I'll take a large bowl and a glass of red please :D

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    1. Hi Emma, glass of red coming up! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  34. John, I love everything about this soup! Escarole is not a green I'm very familiar with, but I will try it your way before I sub any other green!

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    1. Hi Marcelle, bet you'll love escarole! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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