My grandmother always used to make greens and beans when I was growing up; it was definitely one of my favorite comfort foods that kept me warm during those snowy Syracuse winters. I am happy to say that while the DC Metro-Area has not received snow yet, yesterday was rainy and cool for most of the late afternoon/evening. I decided to make beans and greens for dinner. I added some Acini di Pepe pasta, but any small, soup pasta would work well (Ditalini or Pastina). This soup is simple and delicious; it’s definitely not as good as my grandmother’s was, but it was warm and perfect on a dreary day.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 medium head escarole, roughly chopped
- 1 medium head savoy cabbage, roughly chopped
- 5 1/2 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
- 2 14 oz. cans Cannellini beans, washed and drained
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 Bay leafs
- Acini di Pepe or other small pasta soup (Ditalini, Pastina, etc.)
- Parmesan cheese to sprinkle
- In a medium saute pan over medium heat, saute olive oil. Add garlic and red pepper flakes when oil is hot and saute for 2-3 minutes or until garlic begins to brown.
- Add escarole and cabbage to garlic mix and saute for 5 minutes until greens have wilted down a bit.
- Pour greens mix into a slow cooker and add chicken stock, Cannellini beans, salt, pepper, and bay leafs. Cook on high for 2-3 hours (If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can cook in a large stock pot over medium heat for 1 hour).
- Boil water and prepare Acini di Pepe according to directions.
- Remove bay leafs from soup and season with salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Scoop pasta into the bottom of a soup bowl and ladle greens on top.
- Season with Parmesan cheese.
Note: Do not add pasta to the soup while it’s cooking; it will become too soggy. Prepare separately. If there are leftovers, keep both in separate containers. The pasta will stick together in the refrigerator, but once you re-heat the soup and add the pasta, the heat will separate the pasta.