I sometimes get caught up in the exactness of recreating one of my Grandmother’s recipes. This is especially the case when I attempt to make any of her soups. They always seemed to magically appear from pot to bowl, and of all the cooking I did alongside Nana, I don’t ever remember making a soup together. For a while I was like an obsessed chemic trying to recreate the exact spices and herbs so that the end result would be a slurp of warm memories. Sometime later I realized that the simple preparation of these soups and of all of her dishes was enough, it was a continuation of the tradition she had started, or was perhaps just perpetuated by her. As long as I got it mostly right the rest could be my own to enjoy… and share of course.
3 carrots peeled and diced
1 leek diced
2 celery stalks diced
1 small or 1/2 large sweet onion
1 bay leaf
2 cloves of garlic chopped finely
2 containers organic low sodium chicken broth
2 cans drained and rinsed cannellini beans
1 head of escarole, cleaned and torn into pieces
handful of chopped parsley
handful of chopped dill
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a large stock pot of cast iron dutch oven, heat the extra virgin olive oil on medium high. Add the chopped, onions, leeks, carrots, celery and bay leaf and saute for one minute. Adding a bit more oil if you need, make a well the pan to soften the garlic. Continue to cook all the vegetables for eight to ten minutes. Raising the temperature of the stove slightly, add the two containers of broth and bring to a simmer. You can now add your salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, parsley, and dill. Once a steady simmer develops add the torn escarole and cover the pot for five minutes more. You can now add the cannellini beans and continue to cook for about fifteen minutes. Serve the soup alongside some hearty toasted bread, enjoy!!!