Escarole, sausage, and white bean soup - a kinda-recipe
Feeds four if paired with more food (like a salad or a small sandwich); feeds two very hungry people with (maybe) a serving left over.
12 ounces Italian sausage cut into 1-inch pieces
1 golf-ball sized onion, chopped fine
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine or grated (optional - I used granulated garlic)
1 head escarole, rinsed and chopped
cheese "bone" (the rind from Parmigiana-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, or Grana Padano)
1 15-ish ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed - cannellini, white kidney
palm full of dried Italian mix herbs
crushed red pepper (optional)
4-6 cups chicken broth or stock
Saute sausage pieces in a small amount of olive oil until well-browned. Remove from pot and set aside. In the same pot, saute onion until softened, using drippings from sausage. (If it looks like there was too much fat, remove some. If the pot has very little, add a bit of olive oil.) Add fresh garlic (if using) and cook for about 1 minute. Add escarole, cook until the escarole just starts to wilt. Add cheese bone, drained beans, 4 cups of broth, granulated garlic (if not using fresh), red pepper flakes (if using), and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15-20 minutes, adjusting liquid if you want a more liquid soup.
To serve, top with a blizzard of fresh grated cheese and/or fresh chopped parsley
- One recipe called for adding 1/2 cup orzo ten minutes into the simmer time, then simmering an additional 10 minutes. If you add orzo, you'll probably need another couple cups of broth.
"The essence of America - that which really unites us - is not ethnicity, or nationality or religion - it is an an idea - and what an idea it is: That you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That it doesn't matter where you came from but where you are going."~ Condoleezza Rice