It's really easy to throw together so we make two whole slow cookers full of it. And it goes very quickly. I think the simplicity of flavors is the main appeal to this recipe. The large escarole leaves and white beans make up the filling components of the soup while the sausage and garlic give a wonderful flavor to the broth. We all top the soup with a healthy portion of parmesan cheese, which thickens the broth and adds a flavor that is a perfect compliment to the garlic and the spice from the sausage.
If you're not a huge fan of garlic, this soup probably isn't for you because the flavor is very pronounced. I think the soup would be very bland without the garlic so I wouldn't recommend leaving it out or decreasing the quantity. If you don't love spicy food, you can substitute the hot sausage for sweet Italian sausage.
As I mentioned previously, this recipe makes about two full slow cookers of soup so feel free to cut the recipe in half. But don't be afraid to have a ton of leftovers. This soup tastes better after it sits for a couple days because it seems to get more garlic-y (I'm Italian... there's no such thing as too much garlic). It also freezes well!
This is the perfect soup for the cold busy nights that I know everyone is experiencing after the holidays :)
Greens and Beans Soup
- 3 heads of escarole
- salt and pepper
- 1 head of garlic
- 3 pounds of hot sausage (or sweet, if you prefer)
- 6 cans of Great Northern or Cannellini beans, 4 drained and 2 with liquid
- parmesan cheese for garnish
- Wash the heads of escarole. Cut into 1 inch strips. Place the escarole in a large, tall pasta pot.
- Fill the pot with water to the top of the escarole. Heat on medium until the escarole has wilted.
- Mince the garlic. Saute the garlic and hot sausage in a frying pan until cooked through and browned.
- Drain most of the liquid from the sausage and add the garlic and sausage mixture to the pot with the escarole.
- Add the 4 cans of drained beans and the 2 cans of beans with liquid to the pot.
- Simmer for about 20 minutes to let the flavors come together.