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Escarole and White Bean Soup Recipe

Mar 9, 2018, 11:52 AM by Recipe from

Submitted by Oncology Nutrition Program Nutritionists, Ridley Tree Cancer Center

Escarole is a broad-leaved green vegetable that is a member of the chicory family, along with Belgian endive and radicchio to name a few.  It tends to have a slightly bitter flavor  but when added to a soup or salad, the bitterness is toned down by cooking the soup or by adding fat (like olive oil), salt or something sour (like a lemon) to a salad.  Escarole has a decent amount of vitamin A, vitamin K, iron and fiber.  It is also loaded with antioxidants such as carotenoids which can combat against a variety of chronic diseases.

white bean soup


  • 1 ½ cups dried cannellini, great northern, baby lima, or other small white benas
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 fresh bay leaves, or 3 dried
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 cups (approximately 1 head) coarsely shredded escarole leaves (preferably the tough outer leaves), washed and drained
  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • 4 to 6 whole dried peperoncinis  (hot red peppers)


  1. Cold- soak the beans in advance: Dump them into a 2- to- 3- quart container and pour in enough cold water to cover them by at least 4 inches. Let soak in a cool place at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Drain thoroughly.
  2.  Drain, and transfer to a large stockpot. Pour in the 2 quarts water, toss in the bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer, pour in half of the olive oil, and cook until the beans are tender and only an inch of liquid remains, 1 to 1½ hours. Season the beans to taste with salt, then stir in the escarole, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the escarole is quite tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat. Heat the remaining olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and peppers, and cook, shaking the pan, until the peppers change color, about 1 minute or less. Remove from the heat, and carefully— it will sputter quite a bit— pour one ladleful of soup into the skillet. Swirl the pan to blend everything, and then stir the panful of seasoned soup back into the large pot. Check the seasoning, and let the soup rest off the heat, covered, 10 to 15 minutes.