At the risk of sounding like a whiner and offending my friends up north who will be digging out of 2 feet of snow for the next week, I have to tell you that at Farmers Market Finds basecamp in Wilmington, NC it has been FREEZING! So for the first time ever I’m glad there wasn’t a local farmers market yesterday! I’m not sure I would have been brave enough to face the cold. By the way, this type of whining is the cry of transplanted northerners throughout the south. When you move south you suddenly forget how to dress when winter comes and your personal barometer of when “it’s too cold to go outside” goes from about 25° to 45°! Ironically a 45° day any time before May would be considered balmy in Upstate New York!
Now that we established that I’m not leaving the house until it warms up, the only other thing to do is to start cooking! I’m going to share a recipe from my new friend Ron Badach of Callicoon Kitchen. Having stumbled upon the Farmers Market Finds Facebook page a few weeks ago, Ron reached out and offered to share his recipes with our followers. Ron creates delicious vegan-friendly dishes, with easy-to-follow, how-to videos. Having appeared on the ABC show “The Chew”, Ron won the “Hunky Husband Cook-Off” with his vegetarian black bean burger. Not surprising as I’m convinced black beans are like magic beans! I’m currently addicted to a recipe for black bean brownies that are holding my vicious sweet tooth at bay! Leave a comment if you’d like to see that recipe in the future! Now let’s get back to Callicoon Kitchen and today’s recipe!
With the New Year upon us and so many of us trying hard to hold on to the resolution to eat better and get healthy, we are sharing Ron’s recipe for a Classic White Bean and Escarole Soup. This simple, healthy soup is easy to make and perfect for a cold, lazy Sunday. Serve this up with some crusty bread and a nice glass of wine for a simple, satisfying meal. Enjoy Ron’s video and scroll down for detail ingredients. Bon Appetit!
Classic White Bean and Escarole Soup
1 head fresh escarole
3 organic Roma tomatoes
½ minced Serrano pepper, seeded & fine chop
4 cloves garlic
32 ounce vegetable stock
1½ tbsp fresh thyme (leave a few sprigs to garnish)
1½ c Great Northern Beans or Cannellini (If dried beans soak overnight and cook al dente . Substituting high quality canned is OK)
1 tsp tomato paste
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper to taste
Rough chop fresh escarole then soak in a cold water bath and drain a few times until water is clear then set aside.
Dice tomatoes and garlic then seed and fine chop Serrano pepper. Take ½ c of beans and mash with back of a fork … remaining beans can be left whole.
Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pot over a medium heat. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Then add carrots, serrano pepper and ½ c vegetable stock and cook for 5 minutes. Then add escarole and cook down, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes. Finally add tomatoes, thyme, tomato paste, chili flakes, whole and mashed beans and remaining stock and allow to simmer 15 minutes. Check for seasoning then salt and pepper to taste. Serve up immediately with grilled sourdough or ciabatta and garnish with a few sprigs of fresh thyme and drizzle with high quality olive oil, Enjoy!
Keep the soup at a simmer (do not boil!)
For a milder soup omit Serrano pepper.
Stay warm, eat well and be sure to share this recipe with your friends! And be sure to follow the Callicoon Kitchen blog for more great recipes! See you next time at the market!