Chickpeas: I highly recommend using from-scratch cooked chickpeas (or white beans) for this recipe. Here are two methods I love:
Each method will leave you with about 6 cups of cooked chickpeas and at least 4 cups of cooking liquid.
8 Cups Liquid: The broth here is a combination of the chickpea cooking liquid and water. If you have 6 cups of chickpea cooking liquid, use that plus 2 cups water. You can also use vegetable stock, but I highly recommend using homemade.
Parmesan rind: A parmesan rind will lend an incredible amount of flavor (and saltiness, so be careful: I’ve made the mistake of using two rinds, and the soup was too salty).
- 1.25–1.5 lbs escarole, from 1-2 small heads or 1 large
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- kosher salt
- 6 cups cooked chickpeas, from 1 lb. of dried, see notes above
- 8 cups liquid: a combination of the chickpea cooking liquid + water or vegetable stock, see notes above
- 1 rind from a wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano, optional
- Freshly cracked pepper to taste
- Parmigiano Reggiano, optional, for serving
- good, fresh crusty bread or olive oil toasted bread, for serving, optional
- Roughly chop the escarole and place in a large bowl. Cover with cold water. Set aside.
- In a large pot, heat the oil over high heat. Add the onion. Season with a pinch of salt. Stir to distribute. Cover. Immediately turn heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes or until onions are translucent and beginning to take on some color.
- Remove the lid from the pot, and add the escarole, scooping it from the bowl of water with your hands, leaving the water behind — some water clinging to the greens is fine. Let the escarole cook for a minute undisturbed, then use tongs to stir and encourage it to wilt down, which will happen quickly, 1-2 minutes.
- Add the chickpeas and their cooking liquid — if you are using the slow cooker chickpea recipe, you can dump the entire contents of the slow cooker into the pot (remove the onion half and bay leaf first). This is roughly 6 heaping cups of chickpeas and 4 cups of cooking liquid. Add 4 more cups of water. Add the parmesan rind if using. Season with freshly cracked pepper. Let simmer 25-30 minutes or until the broth, chickpeas and escarole taste nicely seasoned. Taste for salt. If you are using the slow cooker chickpeas, whose broth is nicely seasoned, plus a parmesan rind, you likely won’t need to add more salt. But if not, add salt to taste.
- To make the crusty bread, heat a large skillet over medium heat with some olive oil. Cook slices of bread on one side until golden. Flip, and cook the other side till crisp and golden.
- Ladle soup into bowls. Dunk in a slice of olive oil toasted bread. Crack pepper over top. Shave parmesan over top if you wish.
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American, Italian
Keywords: chickpeas, escarole, soup, vegetarian, Italian, peasant