Chicken and Escarole Soup
I love fresh greens in a good brothy soup recipe, and escarole is one of my favorites. This is an Italian version of chicken noodle soup. Make the chicken broth portion of the recipe on your day off and refrigerate or freeze, then finish the soup on a busy day for a quick, easy, healthy and delicious dinner.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small chicken
- 1 large onion, peeled
- 1 large carrot
- 2 celery ribs
- 3 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Broth from cooked chicken
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
- 6 large cloves garlic, finely minced or crushed
- 1 small head escarole, washed and coarsely chopped
- 2 cups reserved cooked chicken
- 4 ounces bowtie pasta or wide noodles, white or whole wheat
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional for serving)
For the broth, heat the olive oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown on all sides. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic cloves, bay leaf, broth, salt and pepper to taste. Add water as needed to nearly cover the chicken. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is very tender, about 1-1/2 hours. Remove chicken from pot; cool until easy to handle. Pull meat off bones; discard skin and bones. Reserve about 2 cups of shredded chicken for soup, the remainder for other recipes. Remove the vegetables from the broth; skim off the fat. Taste broth for seasoning.
For the soup, bring the broth and wine to a boil. Add the minced garlic and escarole; cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the noodles; cook until noodles are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved chicken and heat. Serve immediately, passing the grated cheese, or keep warm over very low heat.
Notes: Frozen greens, such as turnip or collard greens, can be substituted for the fresh escarole. I like this soup with a good garlic flavor. You can use less garlic than called for.