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white bean, sausage, and escarole soup

White Bean, Escarole & Sausage Soup


Note: If you don’t have stock on hand or cooked white beans on hand, this isn’t the fastest soup to throw together. But if you do, you’re golden. I suggest making the stock one day — I like to make it after dinner, especially after a chicken dinner when I can throw the roasted chicken bones as well as any other uncooked chicken bones or parts into the pot. And while the Health Department probably wouldn’t approve, I always just turn off the stove after it has simmered for three hours, cover it, and deal with straining it and bottling it till the morning.

The beans are easy enough to cook the same day you make the soup, but if you cook them ahead, just store them in their cooking liquid in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to use them. Also, I always forget to soak them, but it really doesn’t matter.


  • 6 to 8 cups homemade chicken stock (recipe below)
  • 1/2 lb. to 1 lb. escarole, depending on tastes
  • 1 lb. hot Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • 2 to 3 cups cooked white beans (recipe below or from two 15-oz cans, drained and rinsed)
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmigiano Reggiano for serving


  1. Place stock in a large soup pot and bring to a very gentle simmer. If you have a rind from a wedge of Parmigiano or Pecorino or something of the like, drop it into the stock. Meanwhile, cut the core end of the escarole off and place the leaves in a large bowl filled with cold water. Let sit for at least 5 minutes. Scoop the leaves out and place in a colander. Roughly chop the leaves — you don’t want the leaves to be teensy, but you don’t want them to be so large that they are falling out of your spoon either.
  2. Meanwhile, brown the sausage over medium heat in a skillet. (No need to add any oil to the pan to brown it — the fat from the sausage should be enough.) Once it is mostly cooked through, transfer it to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
  3. Add 2 cups of white beans to the soup pot. Add a half pound of the escarole to the pot. Pat it down with a wooden spoon so that it’s submerged. Once it has wilted, add the sausage. Stir. If the soup looks like it needs more beans and greens, add them; if you like your soup on the brothier side, let it be. (Note: I add the full pound of greens and 3 cups of beans.) Simmer 15 minutes.Taste the broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Note: This soup gets better with every passing day. As it sits in the fridge, the sausage (and the Parmigiano rind if you are using it) really flavors the broth.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Italian, white, bean, soup, sausage, escarole