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White Bean and Vegetable Soup

Serves 4

This was another of my mother's easy soup recipes. I believe she was inspired by a recipe she found in a cookbook. She made quite a few changes, resulting in a quick, healthy and hearty main dish. Serve with crusty bread for a complete meal. For a vegetarian version, use vegetable broth. The one thing I added to the recipe is the pressed garlic at the end of cooking. I love the extra burst of fresh garlic flavor it adds to this soup, but it is optional. As with most soups, leftovers reheat very well.


Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and cook the onions, carrots and celery until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Add the escarole and seasonings. Reduce heat, cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until escarole is tender. Add the beans, broccoli and optional crushed garlic. Cook until everything is tender and heated through, about 5 more minutes. Serve immediately or keep warm over a very low burner until needed.