Escarole soup like Mom used to make

14 Jan

My mom is awesome in many ways, but she is not a memorable cook. Between working full-time, doing all the chores around the house (I still can’t believe sometimes that she didn’t assign us any and that we didn’t offer when we saw her work so hard), and being the go-to parent, she didn’t exactly have a lot of time. There are a few things that she made, though, that I loved: sloppy chicken (it was actually called Sunshine Chicken, but we renamed it after the sticky layer of marmalade that coated our hands after we ate it), chipped beef on toast, BLTs, and escarole soup.

I used to try to make her escarole soup, but the only virtue of my version was the limited number of ingredients: cheese tortellini, chicken stock, and escarole. It never had any flavor. Tonight, I decided to try it again, only with chard instead of escarole (admittedly, because I couldn’t remember what escarole looked like and was too embarrassed to ask at Lucky) and a quick consultation with a Giada De Laurentiis recipe for something similar.

It was so yummy and light yet filling and took about 20 minutes, start to finish. Go Mom.


  • 1 32-oz. container of all-natural chicken broth that I bought to make the soup
  • 1 14-oz. can of low-sodium chicken broth that I found in our cupboard when I realized 32 oz. was not enough
  • 2 cups water to make up the difference and to thin out the broth
  • pepper, to taste
  • a generous pinch of parsley flakes
  • 1 20-oz. package of cheese tortellini
  • About 3/4 of a bunch of chard, washed well, ribs removed, and chopped into long strips (note: chard doesn’t shrink nearly as much as other greens, such as spinach or arugula, when they wilt, so pick a larger pot than you think you’ll need)
  • Pecorino Romano, shaved into thin slices for garnish
  1. Pour the various liquids into a large soup pot and bring to a simmer. Add pepper and parsley to taste.
  2. Add the pasta and let it cook for about 5 mins.
  3. Add the chard and let it wilt while the pasta finishes cooking, about 2-3 more minutes.
  4. Serve into bowls, shave a few slices of pecorino on top, add a dash of pepper, eat with yummy Italian bread like my favorite, Grace Baking’s Pugliese. Mangia.

So why was mine so terrible before? I used veggie stock (sorry vegetarians, it tastes weird here) and forgot to add pepper.


2 Responses to “Escarole soup like Mom used to make”

  1. Andrew Mager January 21, 2008 at 11:12 am #

    This sounds good. Except I dunno what escarole is.

    Oh, now I do:

  2. aharris May 10, 2008 at 11:24 am #

    I’ve made soup similar to this before (except w/ spinach instead of chard). A tip: try adding a squeeze of lemon. It gives it a bright, fresh taste and that little bit of acid really adds a lot to the flavor. Try it next time, you’ll like it! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: