After an unseasonably warm week, the weather reverted to type for Michigan early spring: grey, damp, and cold. I rely on pantry staples, plus a cold-tolerant bitter green, for this soup. This is very popular at our house, and can be ready in only 20 minutes. Serves 4-6
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 – 1 lb light smoked sausage [optional]
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large head escarole, or other dark green, coarsely chopped (2 to 2.5 quarts, or 8-10 cups) (may also use chard, spinach, romaine, arugula, leaf lettuce)
- 5-6 c chicken broth (homemade is best)
- 1 15-oz can cannellini beans, or 2 c cooked white beans
- grated Parmesan or Romano cheese to taste
Heat oil in a large heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the garlic (and sausage, if using), cook about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until lightly browned. Add the greens, and toss until wilted, 5 min or less. Add the beans (if canned, include the juices, don’t drain) and the chicken broth. Simmer until the flavors blend and the soup thickens slightly – about 20 minutes.
Serve with a small drift of grated Parmesan over the top.
Note: if you’re in more of a pasta mood than a soup mood – omit the chicken broth, and serve it over fresh cooked pasta. Also a great supper dish.