Healthy white beans and greens soup makes an excellent recipe as it is highly nutritious, soulful and a comforting soupy dish made with boiled white beans and wonderful escarole greens mildly spiced with red peppers, black pepper, flavored with garlic slices and fresh oregano.
Beans & Greens are excellent combo for any soup or salads. This dish can be called an all-rounder dish as it can be served as main course, side dish, soup, vegetable stew or as an appetizer. Very easy to prepare and inexpensive to make! White beans and greens soup is a popular Italian soup and a local delicacy using fresh beautiful escarole.
This type of curly natural refreshing green endive or escarole has a pleasantly bitter flavor that mellow as it wilts into the hot creamy beans. Makes an excellent soup by using some good homemade chicken stock that is high in quality and low in sodium! Cannellini beans or white navy beans are small and particularly popular in the United Kingdom and US.
They are extensively added to dishes like baked beans, pies and in various soups and salads. Consumption of baked beans has been shown to lower total cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. This might be at least partly explained by high saponin content of navy bean. Saponins also exhibit antibacterial and anti-fungal activity, and have been found to inhibit cancer cell growth.
Furthermore, navy bean is the richest source of ferulic acid and p-coumaric acid among the common bean varieties. Apart from the white beans, a popular variety of beans is used in central and southern Italy which is related to kidney beans. Cannellini beans are my favorite all purpose bean. It gives an excellent creamy texture to the soup.
They are a traditional Italian bean, (a haricot bean which is the edible pod or seed of any of several beans, especially the kidney bean), that have an indescribable nutty flavor. The mild-flavored cannellini, shaped like a kidney bean, is native to Mexico, and cultivated in three of the most romantic countries on Earth: Greece, Italy and France. They are very versatile beans and are used interchangeably with other white beans in recipes.
Cannellini beans are loaded with nutrients your body needs. They help reduce cholesterol, prevent headaches and give you energy to spare. Escarole or endive, another vital ingredient used in this healthy white beans and greens soup belongs to the daisy family. It is usually cooked or used raw in salads. Endive belongs to the chicory genus, which includes several similar bitter leafed vegetables.
Species include endive (Cichorium endivia), Cichorium pumilum and common chicory (Cichorium intybus). Common chicory includes chicory types such as radicchio, puntarelle and Belgian endive. Endive is rich in many vitamins and minerals, especially in folate and vitamins A and K, and is high in fiber.
There are two main varieties of endive cultivated: Curly endive, or frisée - This type has narrow, green, curly outer leaves. It is sometimes called chicory in the United States and is called chicorée frisée in French. Further confusion results from the fact that frisée also refers to a technique in which greens are lightly wilted with oil.
Escarole, or broad-leaved endive has broad, pale green leaves and is less bitter than the other varieties. Varieties or names include broad-leaved endive, Bavarian endive, Batavian endive, grumolo, scarola, and scarole. It is eaten like other greens, sauteed, chopped into soups and stews, or as part of a green salad.
To prepare this scrumptious healthy, soothing soup, firstly in a soup pot, add 2 tablespoon olive oil and when it gets hot, add in 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves and stir well. To this pour in 1 quart low sodium chicken broth and allow boiling.
Add 2 jars or cans white cannelloni beans (well drained, not rinsed), a pinch of red pepper flakes, 1 anchovy fillet (to give that salty flavor), ½ teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano and mix well.
Add 1 heat escarole or curly endive chopped and cook until they become soft and the soup turns creamy. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste! Finally add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle few freshly chopped oregano. The soup is ready to be served hot with crispies or French bread or large slices of parma crisps.
Escarole can also be cooked and added to many different types of dishes. As an example, the darker outer leaves are ideal for braising or steaming. Prepared with a little garlic powder and pepper, the leaves will lose a small amount of the bitter taste and form the perfect pocket for a section of boneless chicken or fish.
When it comes to soup, escarole can be cut into fine strips and added as a green to just about any type of soup. Escarole can be used in vegetable soups, as an ingredient in various types of chick pea soups, and even as a nice touch in old favorites like egg drop soup.
These beans are low-fat, high in fiber and provide a high quality of magnesium, fiber, iron and folate. They have twice as much iron as beef. Maintaining iron stores high ensures a stable supply of hemoglobin. This carries energizing oxygen to every cell in the body.
This gives you energy to spare! Enjoy cooking!