More Soup For You – Escarole & Beans Soup

Escarole & Beans Soup

Escarole & Beans Soup

 

I have a friend, Gwyn, who loves soup.  She once told me that she could ‘eat soup every day’.  So could I.   I like to bring her some homemade soup ocassionally because I know that she appreciates it and loves soup just as much as I do.

Soup is one of those great pleasures that can be whipped up at any time with almost anything that you have in the refrigerator or pantry – be it leftover rice, greens, meat (ham, sausage, etc) and some water or chicken broth. It’s versatile, quick, easy and warms your soup.  Eating soup is almost meditative for me.  The aroma, the steam and the flavors put me in a calm state of mind.

I recently made Escarole and Beans soup.  This is something that I great up eating and it is packed with vitamins, fiber, and just plain goodness.  Sometimes I don’t add any meat to it but this time I found some chorizo (cured Spanish sausage) in my refrigerator that added a nice spiciness to the dish.  One thing is for sure, soup has never let me down.

 

Escarole & Beans Soup

  • 1-2 (2 if small) bunches of escarole – thoroughly washed and chopped.
  • 1 large can of Cannellini beans
  • About 1 1/2 cups of Chorizo, diced
  • 3-4 cups of Chicken or Vegetable broth
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup of cooked rice or small shaped pasta (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Parmesan or other grated cheese, to taste

 

Add olive oil to a soup pot and heat slightly.  Add the diced chorizo and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add the escarole and cook until slightly wilted, approx. 3 minutes.

Add the broth, cooked rice or pasta, salt and pepper.

Cook for approx. 20 minutes.

Serve in bowls with grated cheese.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Friends, Great Cheer – Cocktails to Cookies

Cookies galore!

Cookies Galore!

 

Every year at this time my neighborhood friends have a cookie exchange.  One person hosts it and each baker brings their baked goods wrapped in colorful little bags.

It’s a much-anticipated event.  Not just because we bring home a basket full of home baked goods, but also because it’s the time of year when we can get together and celebrate the season and toast our friendship.

This year, it was hosted by my friend, Tina, who planned a marvelous display of cocktails and appetizers.  The many appetizers were delicious and ranged from cheeses to sliced beef tenderloin on toast with horseradish and gorgonzola sauces.

Mozzarella Tomato Skewers

Mozzarella Tomato Skewers

 

The cocktails were, well, plentiful.  Tine made this easy and delicious Sparkling Rum Punch which we call her ‘signature punch’.  (See recipe below).

Sparkling Rum Punch

Sparkling Rum Punch

 

I am not an avid baker but I make the effort once a year to bake the 8 or so dozens of cookies needed to bring to the cookie exchange.  I don’t want to pass up the chance to see my family’s face light up when I bring home a large basket of goodies.

Basket of Goodies

Basket of Goodies

 

It’s always a treat to taste a variety of cookies – each lending its own balance of sweetness, citrus, and saltiness.  From rum balls to chocolate covered pretzels there is enough variety to please everyone.

I also don’t want to pass up the time to spend some holiday time with the wonderful women who make my life richer.  The cookies are just a reason to get together and celebrate great friends.

 

Sparkling Rum Punch

  • 2 Cups fresh orange juice
  • ½ Cup orange liquer
  • ½ cup dark rum
  • 2 *750-millileter) bottles sparkling wine, chilled

Stir together the first three ingredients, cover and chill 1 hour.  Pour mixture into a large pitcher or punch bowl, and top with chilled sparkling wine.  Serve and drink immediately!

 

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