Fall into escarole soups and salad

Fall is here, so it’s time to cook with escarole.

Autumn flavors: Fall signals the opening of “soup season.”

By Donna Zitter Bordelon

Fall began last Friday. Escarole was on sale at a local produce department. With fall signaling the official opening of “soup season,” and with escarole being a bargain at checkout, buying a head of escarole was a no-brainer. Escarole Soup was on the menu.

ESCAROLE MEATBALL SOUP WITH STRACCIATELLA

Meatballs:

1 lb. ground turkey, beef, pork or veal — Or combination

½ cup fresh bread crumbs

1 egg

½ cup Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. fresh minced parsley

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

2 Tbsp. oil

In a bowl, mix all ingredients except oil. Form into small meatballs, approximately 1-inch diameter (about 24).

Using a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the meatballs, cooking and turning, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Remove meatballs to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.

Soup:

2 Tbsp. oil

1 medium onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

8 cups chicken broth, canned or your own

1 bunch escarole (about ¾ lb.), washed, trimmed and torn into bite-sized pieces

In a large soup pot, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic, and saute until onions are tender and garlic softens, but are not browned.

Add broth and bring to a boil.

Add escarole, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add meatballs and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.

Stracciatella:

3 eggs

½ cup Parmesan cheese

1 Tbsp. parsley, minced

½ tsp. salt

In a small bowl, combine the eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley and salt.

Beat with a fork to blend.

Slowly drizzle the egg/cheese mixture into the hot soup while stirring constantly. Let the stracciatella simmer for about 1 minute until mixture is set.

Here’s a different version of escarole soup to try.

ESCAROLE MEATBALL SOUP WITH TUBETTI

Meatballs:

1 lb. ground turkey, beef, pork or veal — Or combination

2 slices bread, soak in small amount of milk, squeeze dry

½ cup onion, minced

3 Tbsp. parsley, minced

1 egg

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

2 Tbsp. oil

In a bowl, combine all ingredients except oil. Form into small meatballs, approximately 1-inch diameter (about 24).

Using a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the meatballs, cooking and turning, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Remove meatballs to a paper-towel-lined plate. Set aside.

Soup:

2 Tbsp. oil

1 cup onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cans chicken broth (14.5 oz. each)

2 cans beef broth (14.5 oz.)

1 can tomato sauce, 8 oz.

2 medium carrots, julienned or shredded

1 bunch escarole, (about ½–¾ lb.), washed, trimmed and torn into bite-sized pieces

1 chunk Parmesan cheese, about 2 oz.

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced

¾ tsp. dried oregano

½ tsp. pepper

½ cup tubetti, uncooked

In a large soup pot, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic, and saute until onions are tender and garlic softens, but is not browned.

Add the chicken and beef broths, tomato sauce, carrots, escarole, Parmesan, parsley, oregano, pepper and meatballs. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until escarole is tender.

Remove the parmesan chunk.

Add the tubetti and continue to simmer an additional 10 minutes until pasta is al dente.

Use the lower one-third (the lighter leaves) of a bunch of escarole to make this salad, and the darker top leaves for the soup.

ESCAROLE SALAD WITH PEACHES, TOMATOES AND RAISINS

4–5 cups escarole (lighter, inner leaves), torn into small pieces

8–10 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup peaches, sliced

¼ cup raisins or Craisins

Croutons

In a salad bowl, tear escarole leaves into small pieces.

Add the tomatoes, peaches and raisins or Craisins.

Dressing:

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2–3 tsp. honey

Salt and Pepper

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, honey, salt and pepper.

Taste and adjust seasonings.

Pour over salad and mix.

Sprinkle with croutons.

Eat well, live long, enjoy!

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the Times, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002)

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