Sausage, Bean, and Escarole Soup

'Tis the season for soup. When Old Man Winter has us feeling the chill to our bones, fighting back with a hot bowl of hearty soup is nourishing in so many ways. I love this recipe because it's quick, but has that simmered all day taste. And packed with lots of beans and vegetables, it's pretty healthy too ... though the sausage keeps you from feeling like you are eating too healthy!

If you don't have some of the ingredients on hand, improvise. Use different kinds of sausage, beans, greens (escarole is lovely, but spinach or kale will also work ... even shredded brussels sprouts), and vegetables. Heck, you can even use other stock if that's where you are ... make it your own and use the recipe as a basic guide.

I like to serve this with a bit of crusty bread for dunking and maybe a sprinkling of grated asiago or the like. Then it's time to sit and savor a meal meant to melt that chill. Mmmmm!

Sausage, Bean, and Escarole Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 hot Italian sausages (about 1 pound), casings removed
  • ⅓ cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ⅓ large head escarole, chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chopped roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded carrot, kohlrabi, and/or radish (I used a blend of all three)
  • 1 quart chicken or turkey stock

Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the sausage until cooked through, breaking it up with the back of a spoon, about 6 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium; add the onion to pot and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Mix in the garlic and escarole and sauté until wilted, about 2 minutes.

Add the beans, tomatoes, shredded vegetables, and stock; simmer 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

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