Escarole Ribollita

Escarole Ribollita

1 head escarole

1 fennel bulb (reserve a few sprigs)

1 large or 2-3 small carrots

1.5 c cooked or 1 can cannellini beans (cooked from dried or from a can)

1 sausage

2 tb rosemary leaves

1 tb fennel seed

½ c white wine

Stale bread (at least 1 cup, you can substitute bread crumbs or toast some fresh bread)

5 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tb. red pepper flakes

3 quarts water

Vegetable or chicken stock if you will not prepare your own.

1 tsp salt (not necessary if you’re buying a stock)

Prepare cannellini beans if not from a can.  If you’re buying a stock, heat it up in a large soup pot. If you’re not buying stock, prepare a stock by taking a large soup pot, dropping a metal colander into it, adding 3 quarts water, throwing all your carrot, fennel (reserve a few for topping), and leek tops into it (or anything else you’re not gonna eat soon). Bring to a boil, and then simmer for at least 30 min. Pull out the vegetable-filled colander for compost.

Thinly slice 1-2 onions. Dice sausage if in casing. Slice fennel bulb ¼ in thick. Reserve tops for garnish. Halve carrots lengthwise, then slice thinly into half-moons. Chop rosemary leaves and toast fennel seeds lightly. Chop escarole into ½ in strips, and make a few haphazard cuts through the rest.

Heat a large skillet. Add olive oil to coat entire base of pan and lower heat. Add onion and sausage. Cook 5 min. Add fennel bulb and carrots and cook for 4 min. Add rosemary and fennel seed for a minute. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of your pan.

Add skillet ingredients you’ve prepared to your liquid-filled soup pot along with your chopped escarole at a medium-low flame for 15 minutes. Toast your bread, if you’re using fresh.

Add garlic, cooked beans, bread, and salt. Cook 30 minutes..

Garnish with pecorino romano, fennel sprigs, and red pepper flakes.