- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
- SERVINGS: 6
Every cook wants to know how to make this superb soup, and the reason is its simplicity. As in all Italian food, simplicity trumps all. A mixture of greens is great in the recipe, but if you just use escarole, so be it. I first had soup like this in Cervinia in northern Italy, on a spring ski trip. Small huts dotted the lower slopes of the ski resort so you could schuss up, eat a bowl of soup and ski off quickly. This is farmhouse cooking at its best. I think the bread makes the soup what it is. You tell me, but I can assure you that this will become a staple of your repertoire right away.—Andrew Zimmern
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small shallot, minced (1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup minced parsley
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Few pinches of crushed red pepper
- 1 head of escarole (1 pound), trimmed and chopped
- 1 bunch kale (1 pound)—stems and ribs discarded, leaves thinly sliced
- 1 bunch Swiss chard (1 pound)—stems and ribs discarded, leaves thinly sliced
- 8 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Six 1-inch-thick, diagonal slices of baguette
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground white pepper
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the shallot, parsley, garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the escarole, kale and chard and cook, stirring, until the greens start to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer until the greens are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, spread the butter on both sides of the bread slices. Heat a large nonstick skillet. Add the baguette slices and toast over moderate heat until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- Stir the vinegar into the soup and season with sea salt and white pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with the toasts and garnish with the grated cheese.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.