Fall is just around the corner which means it’s officially soup season! Butter Bean and Escarole Soup is an easy and cozy dish that feel like a hug in a bowl.
Soup is the ultimate comfort food, such as Sopa de Fideo. Not only does it warm you from the inside out, it also is the ideal quick weeknight dinner or comforting lunch.
Greens and beans are a southern classic dish, and this Butter Bean and Escarole Soup couldn’t be easier. Light yet hearty, it utilizes pantry staples for a quick cooking meal.
- Butter Beans – Also referred to as lima beans, are just as their name implies, buttery. These large and tender beans are also a little nutty and sweet.
- Onion – This aromatic vegetable sweetens and adds depth of flavor to the broth.
- Garlic – Sharp and pungent, this aromatic adds depth to the broth and compliments the delicate flavors of the escarole.
- Harissa Paste – This is optional, but the hot chili paste not only adds spice, but it also contains herbs, garlic, and roasted red peppers which adds depth.
- Tomato Sauce – Combined with the broth, this creates a light tomato laced flavor that pairs with both the beans and also the greens.
- Escarole – This member of the chicory family looks like lettuce with its delicate leaves but is related to endive. A little bitter, it mellows as it wilts quickly into the broth.
- Broth – Either chicken or vegetable work in this recipe, allowing you to make this a meat free and vegetarian friendly option.
- Salt and Pepper – Always season according to your taste, and season as you go.
- Red Pepper Flakes – Just a sprinkle gives a little back note of heat.
How to Make Butter Bean and Escarole Soup
This quick cooking soup is the ultimate hug in a bowl. All you need is about 30 minutes and a pot!
Time needed: 45 minutes
The southern classic of greens and beans comes together in this Italian inspired soup.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat with your olive oil. Add your onions and garlic and cook them until they are slightly translucent and fragrant.
Add in your harissa and tomato sauce and stir until the onions and garlic are fully coated. Add in your butter beans and stir to combine. Season with salt, pepper, and chili flakes.
Add in your chopped escarole and stir to combine, until they are slightly wilted.
Add your broth and water and stir. Cover your soup and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes, cooking the escarole through and allowing all of the flavors to come together.
Serve your soup with your favorite additions such as crusty bread, parmesan cheese, or pesto.
- Cannellini Beans – If you don’t have butter beans, you can make this same recipe with cannellini beans. These white beans are firm, also buttery, and traditional in Italian soups.
- Sausage – Greens and sausage are a classic pairing. Make this soup a little heartier by adding your favorite Italian sausage. Both hot sausage and mild would work in this recipe.
- Pancetta – This Italian cured me pairs well with beans. Render diced pancetta at the beginning and reserve your drippings to cook your vegetables in.
- Pesto – Give your soup an herbaceous pop by adding pesto when serving.
Soup is one of those magical foods that just gets better as it sits. This soup is perfect leftover for lunches or made in advance for meal prep. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to heat and serve.
Top Tip for Butter Bean and Escarole Soup
Escarole is an easy green to work with, being delicious both raw and also cooked in soups and pastas. To prepare your escarole simply trim off the stem and then remove any outer bruised leaves. You can Slice it in half to wash it or remove the leaves to wash.
Butter Bean and Escarole Soup
- 1 dutch oven
- 1-2 cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tsp harissa paste, optional
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 bunch escarole, chopped
- 1 cup broth
- 1 cup water
- salt and black pepper to taste
- red pepper flakes
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat and add olive oil.
- Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes until they are fragrant and translucent.
- Add your tomato sauce and harissa. Stir to combine and allow to sauté for a minute.
- Add your drained butter beans and stir. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
- Add chopped escarole and stir. Allow them to cook for a couple of minutes until just wilted.
- Add the broth and water and stir to combine. Cover your pot and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Serve with crusty bread, parmesan cheese, and pesto if desired.