Nava’s book is a tremendous resource, bursting with brilliant ways to eat more greens, as most of us know we probably should. She includes an introduction to an array of greens, tips on preparing each one, plus over 100 recipes. I love this book, and refer to it often.
Now, back to the soup. Onions, garlic, carrots, chickpeas, and diced potatoes simmer away in broth, until tender. Escarole is added during the final moments, along with sliced radicchio. Allow each to barely wilt, and serve immediately to enjoy all of that glorious color, with just a bit of crunch.
Because the greens continue to wilt as the soup cools, on day two, I found adding a handful of leftover petite sweet peas to each bowl created fresh contrast in color and texture. It was lovely served with a rustic loaf of whole grain bread.
You may think most greens are tough or even bitter. Not so with escarole. This is delicate, like lettuce, and if you’ve been trying to find ways to eat more greens – more often, escarole may be your new best friend.
ITALIAN ESCAROLE AND POTATO SOUP
Adapted from Wild About Greens, by Nava Atlas
4 tablespoons water
1 medium onion, diced
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
6 medium red potatoes, peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, sliced thinly
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 medium head escarole, coarsely chopped and rinsed
1/2 head radicchio, thinly sliced and rinsed
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the water in a soup pot, add the onion and sauté over medium high heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until both are golden. Add the potatoes, carrots, chickpeas, broth, water, and basil. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer for approximately 15 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are tender.
Turn off the heat. Stir in the escarole, until just wilted. Add the radicchio and parsley.
Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Just before serving, smash a few of the potatoes with a potato masher right in the soup pot, to thicken the broth slightly to desired texture.