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Escarole and White Bean Soup

Mangia bene! An classic Italian dish pair, escarole and white beans make a hearty meal-in-a-bowl that is guaranteed to warm you on a dreary rainy day. Actually any day. When you find escarole in the store or farmer’s market, put this soup on your menu!

Escarole and White Beans


Escarole leaves are broad and look somewhat like green lettuce. Escarole belongs to the characteristically bitter endive family. Like other leafy greens, this lovely tangy green is full of anti-oxidant benefits and vitamins, especially vitamins A and K. When simmered in a broth it turns juicy, wilty and mild–all good reasons to make this fragrant stewy soup. And if escarole never comes across your grocery radar, substitute collards.

A search on Pinterest will lead you to more pairings of escarole and white beans than you can ever possibly make. Many of escarole and white bean recipes include  sausage, meatballs, or bacon/procuitto. I even saw one that calls for sardines. There are plenty of vegetarian escarole and white bean combos out there as well to keep vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters alike happy.

For a meatless version but with a meaty sausage quality, bring out the soysage, a faux sausage meat substitute. I like Gimme Lean “sausage” in this escarole and white bean soup.

Escarole and White Beans

This recipe comes from the Garafalo family. Our CSA farmer, John Garafalo grows escarole and his mother Diane, sent me her white bean and escarole recipe as inspiration when escarole came in our weekly farm share box. (I substitute vegetable broth for her low-fat chicken broth.) Diane Garafalo says serve your escarole and white beans with a crusty Italian bread. Mangia bene!

Escarole and White Beans

Note: You will be amazed at the difference when you cook your own beans instead of opening a can. Plus the broth is sooooo much more flavorful! (You want to drain off the liquid from the can.) Start with 1 cup of beans and soak them overnight. Cook the beans with 2 cloves of garlic for 9 minutes in the pressure cooker, remove from the heat, and let the pressure come down naturally.

More Escarole Recipes:

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook a delicious main course soup!

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5 from 1 vote
Escarole and White Beans
Escarole and White Beans
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins

This robust soup will warm you up on a cold and rainy day. Serve with a large green salad and something chocolate-y for dessert. Serves 6.

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keyword: escarole, white beans
Servings: 6 servings.
Calories: 128 kcal
Author: Letty Flatt
  • 1 large bunch of escarole or collard leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic or more to taste , chopped
  • 2 (15-oz) can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
  • Or 3 cups white beans cooked from scratch
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (see note)
  • fine sea salt , to taste (see note)
  • Freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • Crushed red pepper , to taste
  1. Cut off the bottoms of the escarole, wash the leaves thoroughly, but do not dry. Roughly tear or chop them into pieces.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant and translucent, about 15 seconds. Do not let the garlic brown.
  3. Toss the wet escarole into the pot with the garlic (enjoy the sizzle), and sauté until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add a few pinches of salt, grind in some pepper, and give it a pinch or two of crushed red pepper.
  5. Stir in the beans, the cheese, and the broth.
  6. Taste the broth and adjust the seasonings.
  7. Let simmer until escarole is tender and beans are soft, about 20 minutes. If you wish, add more broth for a soupier consistency.
  8. Serve in individual bowls. Drizzle each serving with a splash of olive oil.
  9. Let guests add more grated cheese, if desired.
Recipe Notes
  • To cook beans from scratch: Start with 1 cup of beans and soak them overnight. Cook the beans with 2 cloves of garlic for 9 minutes in the pressure cooker, remove from the heat, and let the pressure come down naturally.
  • If using broth from beans cooked from scratch, you may not need additional vegetable broth. Taste before adding purchased stock.
  • Taste for salt after adding the cheese because the cheese is quite salty.
Nutrition Facts
Escarole and White Beans
Amount Per Serving
Calories 128 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 17mg6%
Sodium 843mg37%
Potassium 249mg7%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 2030IU41%
Vitamin C 5.2mg6%
Calcium 218mg22%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • Love escarole! Soysages, I’m less sure about. However, it’s such a funny word that I might be willing to try them just say I can say soysages again. GREG Reply · 21 August, 2014

  • letty

    🙂 Reply · 21 August, 2014

  • […] herby croutons also pair well with young and tender bitter/sweet greens, like curly mizuna, and escarole’s cousin, frisée, also known as curly endive. Dress the greens with the vinaigrette and let them […] Reply · 9 September, 2014

  • […] This recipe is straightforward. You chop up a bunch of veggies, add some seasonings, cover with water, and leave to simmer on the stove for 45 minutes. Strain off the delicious liquid and stash away cold, ready for when you make a hearty soup, like this escarole and white bean soup. […] Reply · 17 October, 2015

  • […] Escarole and White Bean Soup […] Reply · 3 November, 2015

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