29 Mar2011

The discovery of two full heads of chicory or escarole at the Centris Sunday Market had me giddy with produce excitement… :) As I get older, I find I am more attracted to bitter flavors and crave broccoli rabe, ampalaya, arugula or radicchio, mustasa and when available, escarole. So despite my strict diet and my near full compliance with the rules when I happened to find this escarole a few weeks ago, I immediately cooked one of the heads of escarole in a quick, simple and delicious soup.

I simply sauteed some chopped up homemade paprika chorizo in a bit of olive oil together with some roughly chopped onions. I then added low sodium chicken broth and a can of drained cannellini beans (Progresso brand from Cash & Carry are good I find) and let that simmer for a few minutes. Added in the chopped escarole (lots of it) and after a couple of minutes served this steaming hot. The whole dish couldn’t have taken more than 20-25 minutes to prepare and it was delicious. The broth had more depth than you can imagine for so little time on the stove. The mixture of paprika and pork and onions with the softened beans and broth was so satisfying. And for escarole lovers, the slightly bitter and chewy escarole was heaven. Oh, and don’t forget to sprinkle freshly grated parmaggiano reggiano on top before serving. Yum.



  1. Thel from Florida says:

    Great photos. Kagutom!

    Mar 29, 2011 | 5:52 am


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  3. T says:

    MM, i have been making a lot of cannellini and italian/country sausage soup recently. http://www.teacupmoments.com/2011/02/bean-soup-for-soul.html
    i use kale most times, or chard. but i will try escarole next time because, like you, i also enjoy bitter flavors. thanks for this post!

    Mar 29, 2011 | 6:08 am

  4. millet says:

    i’ve always resisted buying canned beans and insist on boiling them from scratch, but seeing how this soup took minutes to put together (and yet looking like you slaved over a hot stove for hours), i am seriously convinced!

    Mar 29, 2011 | 8:37 am

  5. ging says:

    my friend chef wyatt once said to me: a liking for bitter foods is a sign of a sophisticated palate.

    Mar 29, 2011 | 8:40 am

  6. Marketman says:

    ging, :) But I have to say, as a kid, I HATED ampalaya and had to drown it in ketchup when forced to eat some for “health” reasons. :) Today, I seek ampalaya out. :) Millet, I find a lot of canned beans are pretty atrocious, but have found progresso brand canned cannellini beans to be pretty good. Then a few weeks ago, read in a food magazine somewhere they at progresso also rated as their pick as the “best” canned bean… So whenever I spot them in groceries, I stock up. T, I love kale and chard as well… Thel, thanks!

    Mar 29, 2011 | 9:34 am

  7. myra_ps says:

    Just add bread and that’s a basic Tuscan bean soup. My kind of food :)

    Mar 29, 2011 | 10:06 am

  8. kitchen says:

    i think escarole would work very well with monggo soup?

    Mar 29, 2011 | 10:48 am

  9. louinsanfran says:

    I’m with millet on the use of canned goods. Cannellini may be soothingly familiar but the next time I feel like some native soup, seeing how you’ve used homemade chorizo for the meat, I just might try how this goes with a local fresh substitute like patani instead. After all, according to Kai of bucaio.blogspot, it is also known as the Pope’s beans.

    Mar 29, 2011 | 11:37 am

  10. ayen says:

    MM, do you think hungarian sausage will work for this recipe?

    Mar 29, 2011 | 12:53 pm

  11. k. ramos says:

    I don’t drown my ampalaya in ketchup anymore, I just coat it lightly. I, too, have developed a craving for something bitter. Guess it’s part of growing up :D

    Mar 29, 2011 | 3:52 pm

  12. Footloose says:

    Lovely looking soup that pleases the eyes and will warm the bones.

    Mar 29, 2011 | 7:40 pm

  13. EbbaBlue says:

    I have dried beans in my pantry (my hubby loves them), cannelini, pinto, kidney, black-eye peas, etc. I always makes them using my crockpot. They are great in almost anything, especially soup, or even salad. Thanks for this recipe, will them this week. Maybe with collard greens though and smoked turkey leg.

    Mar 29, 2011 | 8:46 pm

  14. satomi says:

    That soup looks yummy!! I am not fond of anything bitter & spicy. :( I can tolerate the bitterness in broccoli rabe, arugula, radicchio & mustard leaves but not ampalaya!!! I will definitely try this recipe!! I want a lot of meat in my soup so I will add ham hock to it. (drools)

    Mar 29, 2011 | 10:05 pm

  15. tonceq says:

    What a hearty soup! though I’m not in the point where I’m looking for Ampalaya yet (give it maybe 40 years more and I might just consider it) I have begun liking the taste of some vegetables that I previously never thought of eating. Your theory of the taste preference shifting to the bitter tastes might be true but I think reading your blog also helps too!

    “my near full compliance with the rules… ” cracked me up! :)

    Mar 29, 2011 | 10:20 pm

  16. brownedgnat says:

    That looks yummy. Try escarole sauteed in olive oil, garlic and onion with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Thrilled to see this is now available in Manila.

    Mar 30, 2011 | 3:30 am


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