NOVEMBER 26 2011

Why am I so bad at dried beans? I leapt out of bed at 8am realizing I was supposed to soak the damn beans for 8 hours before starting the soup (which then had to simmer for 2 hours). But I only had 4-1/2 hours before the Civil War & soup eating started. Dang, dang, dang. I let them soak in hot water for about 2 hours, then put them in a pot to simmer for about an hour before starting the soup.

The soup itself is pretty basic. Saute the holy trinity of carrot, onion and celery until softened. Add the beans along with veggie broth and a bay leaf then simmer 2 hours (or in my case, however long it takes for the beans to be done). So where does the escarole come into this equation? Well, that is the pain in the ass part of this recipe; the escarole has to be cooked separately then added to the soup. 

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So, when the beans are almost done, I gently fry 2 garlic cloves in oil in a separate frying pan. Once aromatic, the chopped escarole goes into the oil to sizzle 4 minutes. Then the whole mess is dumped into the soup to heat through and meld into one.

Time to eat! The soup is tasty and comforting. There is a nice bite from the garlicky escarole, but I'm not sure it was worth the extra dirty pan. It is good, though, and the beans are perfectly tender. A generous sprinkle of pecorino takes it to the next level and I am definitely a fan.

tasty, tasty soup!

As suggested, I scoop up a big bowl of cold soup for breakfast the next day, adding olive oil, sea salt, cheese and chopped parsley. I think it may have saved my life.

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