This winter warmer has become a favorite because it uses kitchen staples, it's packed with healthy ingredients and is a cinch to prepare. If I can't find escarole, I just sub fresh spinach. —Gina Samokar, North Haven, Connecticut
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta
- 1 bunch escarole or spinach, coarsely chopped (about 8 cups)
- 1 can (15 ounces) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until tender. Add broth, tomatoes, Italian seasoning and pepper flakes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes.
Stir in orzo and escarole. Return to a boil; cook 12-14 minutes or until orzo is tender. Add beans; heat through, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle servings with cheese.
Freeze option: Freeze cooled soup in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little broth if necessary. Yield: 8 servings (2 quarts).
Originally published as White Bean Soup with Escarole in Simple & Delicious December/January 2014, p1-18
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