Sopranos' Escarole & Beans Soup

Sopranos’ Escarole & Beans Soup

1 pound escarole (about 1 medium head)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
2 medium tomatoes, ripe, chopped or 1 cup Italian tomatoes, diced and peeled
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups chicken broth or beef broth, preferably homemade (or use water, I prefer chicken)
3 cups cannellini beans or great northern beans (cooked or canned, I prefer blackeye peas)
1 cup elbow macaroni or pasta shells (I omit this)
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese or parmigiano-reggiano cheese, freshly grated

Trim off the base of the escarole and discard any bruised leaves. Wash the
leaves in several changes of cold water, paying special attention to the
central ribs where soil tends to collect. Stack the leaves and cut crosswise
into 1-inch strips. In a large pot, cook the garlic in the olive oil over
medium-low heat until golden. Add the escarole, tomatoes, and red pepper
flakes. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until the escarole is tender. Add
the broth and beans; cook for 20 minutes. Stir in the elbows and season to
taste with salt and pepper. Cook 10 minutes more, or until the pasta is
tender. Just before serving, sprinkle with the cheese.

8 servings

The Sopranos Family Cookbook Recipes by Michele Scicolone, 2002.