This Italian soup is made with escarole, a bitter green that looks like frilly romaine and cooks down to a surprisingly buttery smoothness. Rinse escarole carefully because grime often lurks in the leaves. If you can’t find escarole, substitute a 10-ounce bag of spinach leaves with the large, woody stems removed.
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
½ cup finely chopped celery
½ cup finely chopped carrot
¼ cup chopped garlic
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 14-ounce cans vegetable broth or reduced sodium chicken broth
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed
1 head escarole, chopped and rinsed
½ cup freshly shredded hard Italian cheese, such as Parmesan, Romano or Asiago
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, tomatoes, celery, carrot, garlic, Italian seasoning and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are beginning to soften and the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add broth, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring often until the vegetables are tender. Stir in beans and escarole and cook, stirring often, until the escarole is just tender, about 5 minutes. Serve with a sprinkle of cheese.
Makes 6 servings, 11/2 cups each