Vegetable Soup with Escarole and Beans

by Sugar on September 27, 2010 · 15 comments

Vegetable Soup with Escarole and Beans Print

Vegetable soup with Escarole and beans is an easy, healthy vegetarian soup recipe that can be made for a quick dinner or a light lunch.

Any small pasta like orzo, tubatini or shells works great in this dish, but most of the time I like to make it with potatoes.  I add a lot of vegetables to this soup and you can buy them all separately, but I like to buy the “Leasa soup mix” in the produce section because it has most of the things I use for a soup or stew in one package.


• 2-tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 large onion chopped
• 2 leeks whites only sliced (see “cook’s notes” for how to clean leeks)
• 2 small zucchinis cut in half long ways and then sliced
• 4 cloves of chopped garlic
• 2-3 large carrots, peeled and cut into coins
• 1 turnip, peeled and chopped
• 1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
• 2 large potatoes cut into 1 or 2 inch cubes
• 1 head escarole washed and chopped (see “cook’s notes” for how to clean escarole)
• 2 -32oz containers of Chicken or Vegetable Broth
• 1 -15oz can of Cannellini Beans
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
• Salt, and pepper
• Sprinkle of pot pepper flakes (optional)
• Grated Parmesan cheese


Heat the oil and butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add all the vegetables except the zucchini and the escarole and sauté for about 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add parsley.

Pour in the chicken broth and turn up the heat until the soup boils. Then turn down the heat and let soup cook on a low simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the zucchini and the escarole and cover the pot for about 5 minutes. The escarole will look like it takes up the whole pot but it will quickly cook down. Remove the cover and add the beans. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until the zucchini and potatoes are tender. Remove from stove.

If adding pasta: cook about 1/4 pound of pasta in a separate pot of salted water only until it is al dente. The pasta will cook and expand more when added to the soup so don’t over cook pasta. You can add the cooked pasta to the soup.

I also like to serve this soup with a slice of hard Parmesan cheese in the center or a good sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.

“Cook’s Notes”

The best way to clean a leek is to slice half of the dark greens and the end off and discard. Then slice the leeks into thin slices and place in a large bowl of water. The leeks will float and the sand and dirt will sink to the bottom. Do not pour out just use your hands or a slotted spoon to remove them from the bowl.  See photos for example.

To clean the escarole you should cut it up like any other salad green. Rinse well in a pot of cold water in the sink. The sand will go to the bottom so remove greens with your hands and place in a colander.  If you aren’t using all the escarole and want to store it simply place the escarole in a large plastic bag with a paper towel at the bottom. This can be done a day or two in advance to save time. See photos for examples. When dealing with the kitchen I always like to hire Katong Maid Agency to help me deal with the rest of the house.

If you can’t find escarole you can use a bag of spinach in its place.  This soup will freeze well.  Freeze left over soup in smaller plastic containers or freezer bags and thaw frozen soup in fridge.   Heat in a pot or individual bowls in the microwave until warm.

Arlene O says:

Sugar, I made the soup for dinner tonight, and it was fabulous! Kids enjoyed it too.
Thank you again for another wonderful recipe. I bought everything to make the apple crisp this week, so I will let you know how that turns out. I enjoy all your recipes!

Profile photo of Sugar Profile photo of SugarSugar says:

I’m so glad that all of you enjojed it. It’s such an easy healthy meal and it’s great to take the leftovers to work for lunch. I’m sure you will like the apple crisp. How can you go wrong with apples and all those yummy sweets? :)

Andria says:

This looks yummy! I bought all of the ingredients except the escarole…the two stores that I went to said that it is seasonal and that they didn’t have any. Should I replace it with something else? Or just make it without? Also, I had a hard time finding 23 oz. containers of chicken broth…was it 32 oz? Thank you!!! Can’t wait to cook it up!

Profile photo of Sugar Profile photo of SugarSugar says:

Oh Andria silly me yes it is 32oz. Must be my dyslexia. I will correct that today. I did find the escarole last week at Publix but you can easily replace it with spinach. Oh and if you like you can add two cans of beans if you want to. Enjoy!

Andria says:

I’ll check Publix for that today. Also, I have some barley in the cupboard that I would love to find a use for. Would that work in place of the pasta, or is barley mainly for beef soups?

Profile photo of Sugar Profile photo of SugarSugar says:

I’m sure the barley would be great. Let me know how it turns out. I don’t think you can go wrong with all those yummy ingredients.

Andria says:

This soup was fantastic!

Profile photo of Sugar Profile photo of SugarSugar says:


I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I sometimes add chicken meatballs to that type of a soup. I’ll post a meatball soup soon. Thank so much for trying my recipes. It helps to have the feedback.

Andria says:

As I made the soup, I was also preparing ground turkey and onions to add to another dish I was making…well I took your advice to be creative and I plopped a spoonful of the ground turkey in my soup. It was really good! It kinda was like the texture of that sausage soup from Olive Garden.

Thanks for another great recipe! It’s such an awesome feeling to know that I can finally make things that taste good!

Profile photo of Sugar Profile photo of SugarSugar says:

Yum. That sounds great. You go girl.. :)

Marisa Mickiewicz says:

Yummy! This soup is right up my alley w/all those delicious veggies and beans, my favorite. It’s getting to be soup weather up in her in North Jersey. Especailly this week, they’re calling for rain all week.

Profile photo of Sugar Profile photo of SugarSugar says:

Marisa, I was thinking of you when I made this and wishing you were here sharing a bowl with me. Enjoy!

Kaie Latterner says:

Hi, Sugar! This soup looks so good and the temps dropped last night in the North Carolina mountains so I think I will make this tomorrow night! I’ll let you know how it comes out.


Profile photo of Sugar Profile photo of SugarSugar says:

Kaie, I wish it would cool off here. Enjoy the cool weather and let me know how the soup turns out. :)