We used this as a base for a light bean and escarole soup. Freshly squeezed lemon and cream cheese adds brightness and a touch of softness. All you’ll need to complete this meal is a crusty toasted bread. Cook, relax and enjoy!
What you'll need: 6 oz onion 3 oz carrot 1 clove garlic 2 bay leaves dried or fresh 10 oz escarole 1 lemon 2 cans cannellini beans 1 oz cream cheese 2 ciabatta rolls ¼ tsp crushed red pepper olive oil coarse salt freshly ground black pepper
Equipment: box grater medium saucepan fine-mesh sieve skillet rimmed baking sheet
Recipe steps: 1. Make broth Cut onion in half through the root and peel. Grate one half onion. Peel and grate carrot. Grate garlic. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium. Add grated onion, carrot, garlic and bay leaves. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add 2¼ cups water and bring to a simmer, cooking until broth infuses, 5 minutes. Strain broth through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on solids.
Prep vegetables Meanwhile, cut root from escarole and chop into 1-inch pieces. Wash well in a bowl of cold water. Finely chop remaining half of onion. Zest lemon and cut in half.
Cook vegetables Heat one tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium. Add chopped onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt. Add escarole and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 2 minutes.
Add beans Drain and rinse cannellini beans. Add beans and broth to skillet. Simmer until beans are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Add cream cheese and stir to dissolve. Squeeze half lemon into beans and add most of the zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toast bread Preheat broiler with rack 4-inches from heat source. Cut rolls in half through the middle and place on a rimmed baking sheet cut side up. Drizzle with oil and broil until toasted, about 1 minute.
Finish Divide toasted bread among bowls, cut side up, and spoon beans and escarole onto bread. Top with crushed red pepper, remaining lemon zest, and a drizzle of oil, if desired.