Saturday, January 13

Snowflakes in Southern California

Jeff and I go to the gym early every morning. Since it’s still dark out when we leave, it’s been pretty chilly lately. This morning when I turned the key in the ignition, the dashboard starting flashing. It also began to beep—a subtle bing, like the musical “fasten your seatbelt” bing that you hear on airplanes. “Great,” I sighed, “something else is broken.” Jeff, never one to presume the worst, leaned over, looked intently at the dashboard, and said matter-of-factly, “Nothing’s broken.” “It’s not?” “No. It’s just a snowflake,” he said. “What’s just a snowflake?” I asked. “On the dashboard. Look at the temperature,” he said. It read 39 degrees. And there it was—a cute little snowflake. Apparently Volkswagen was thoughtful enough to alert its drivers when it’s cold outside. Having driven the car only in Southern California, we had never seen it before. If this keeps up, I’m gonna have to ask my mom to let me borrow some of those gloves and scarves I gave to her when we moved here.

Speaking of my mom, when I was growing up, I don’t think I went a week during the winter without eating a hot, delicious bowl of her escarole and beans. It was a classic Friday night quick dinner typically served with crusty Italian bread. No matter how often I ate it, I never, ever tired of it. It’s one of the dishes that Jeff and I crave when we’re feeling blue for home or feeling chilled, like we do today. When you eat it, it makes you feel warm and comfortable.

I have absolutely no proof that Progresso cannelini beans will make this dish taste better, but my mom used them, so I use them, and so should you. They really are extra creamy and tasty. Plus, I like the picture of the can. I usually make a big batch of this; it’s one of the few foods I love as a leftover.

Mom's Italian Escarole and Bean Soup
Print recipe only here.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large head of escarole, chopped (about 10-12 cups)
1 15-ounce can of cannelini beans (rinsed)
1 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes (or more if you’d like it soupier)
Lots of crushed red pepper flakes
Salt, to taste
Lots of good grated Reggiano Parmigiano cheese (preferably from Dad)

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes. Add chopped escarole, and toss occasionally, about 4-5 minutes, until it wilts. Add beans, crushed tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and salt. Heat through for 2-3 minutes more. Remove from heat; (this will help the escarole stay bright green).

Top with grated cheese before serving.


Rachel Rubin said...

That looks so good and it's quick and easy. perfect!

by the way, i love your blog. i'm not a vegetarian but i love to eat veggie food. i've added it to it on my blog rachel's bite.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I agree, there's nothing like simple wholesome meals.

Oh, what music to my ears to hear you say you love your veggies!

Many thanks for your compliments.

Anonymous said...

Your mother sounds like a fabulous cook and this sounds like such a good soup. It would be particularly good right now in the middle of this unseasonably cold weather we're having.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

My mom really is a fabulous cook. I spoke to her last night about the weather; let's just say she is planning to make lots of soup this weekend.

Anonymous said...

I made this last night. Delicious.
P.S. You were right - the cheese from your Dad was the perfect touch!
Great blog. I have saved it to my favorites. Jo-Ann - RI

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Yeh! I'm so glad you liked it! And I'm a favorite? Awww, you shouldn't have, but I'm glad you did.:)

Anonymous said...

Hey Food Blogga! I just bought escarole for the first time at the grocery store and am going to try this soup. It sounds delicious! And it's kinda cold here in Massachusetts.

Lynne Nardizzi, MSW said...

i googled "escarole" to find a recipe, and yours looked like the best. i made it last night, and it's delicious! quick and easy to make, too! i look forward to checking out more recipes on your site:)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

thebaablogger-That's fantastic! Thanks for letting me know that you liked it. :)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Dawn-I hope you like it. It's perfect when the weather turns chilly.

JK said...

Just wanted to let you know that this recipe has become one of my favorites! Out of town guests arriving late at night who need some dinner? Perfect! Helping out with cooking after mom had surgery? This soup was great to stock the freezer with! It is so simply and comforting and tasty! Thanks for sharing...this is a real winner!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Oh, that makes me so happy. I love when a recipe works well for readers and am thrilled to hear it has become a regular in your kitchen. Thanks!