Monday, June 3, 2013

Excited for Escarole

Escarole is a lovely bitter green that is in the chicory family along with radicchio and endive.

I normally think of escarole as a "soup green."

So here is my version of Escarole Meatball Soup (Italian Wedding Soup)

First step: Wash your escarole.  Wash it just like all the other greens from the farm and store in the fridge wrapped up in paper towels inside of a ziploc bag.

Heat 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a soup pot,
Chop 2 celery stalks, 2 carrots, and a medium onion.  Add to the pan.

Season with salt and pepper and add two bay leaves.  *Remember to pluck the bay leaves out of the soup before serving.  They are only for flavor, not for eating.
While the veggies are cooking, start the meatballs.  I used a meatball mix of beef, pork, and veal.  You could use whatever you like, just beef, or turkey.
To the ground meat add 1/2 cup of bread crumbs.
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg and 2 cloves garlic, minced.  I didn't have any garlic, so I just added some garlic powder.
Mix well.
After the veggies have cooked for about 5 minutes add 6 cups of chicken broth.

And 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil.

While you wait for the broth to boil start rolling your little meatballs.  I love making them pretty small, but that also means more meatballs to roll. 
When the soup has come to a rolling boil add the meatballs one at a time.

Add 1 1/2 cups of pasta.  My kids choose mini shells, but orzo would be good too. Cook until the pasta is tender 8-10 minutes.
Give your escarole a rough chop. I used about a pound which was 2 heads.

Add the escarole to the soup in batches.  Stirring until it is wilted.

Escarole Meatball Soup ( adapted from Rachael Ray)
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 dried bay leaves
1 lb meatball mix (a mixture of beef, pork, and veal)
1 egg
2 gloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups pasta
1 lb fresh escarole (you could use any green like, spinach or swiss chard) roughly chopped

In a soup pot heat 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil over medium heat.  Add carrots, celery, onion, and bay leaves.  Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile mix up the meatballs.  In a large bowl mix, meat mixture, egg, cheese, bread crumbs, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Add broth and water to the soup pot.  Bring to a rolling boil.  Roll the meat mixture into small bowls and add to the soup pot one at a time.  After all the meatballs are in the soup add the pasta.  Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the pasta is tender.  Then add the escarole in batches stirring until wilted.  Check seasonings and serve.

Happy Cooking! 

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