This Escarole Soup recipe is a healthy, flavor-packed, satisfying soup with pasta. An Italian classic perfect for a warming, weeknight meal.
I love soup, and I especially love a thick, hearty soup that you can eat over pasta. I am known for my soups and friends and family frequently request them when they come for lunch or dinner. This soup is personally very close to my heart and I’m so pleased to be able to share it with you! I know you’ll love it as much as I do!
What is Escarole Soup?
Escarole soup is something my Italian grandmother made for me as a child. I moved to England, and was devastated to find out that it wasn’t available in supermarkets. I tried many different kinds of greens to replace it with no success.
Escarole is part of the chicory family. and looks very similar to lettuce. It’s a leafy green vegetable full of nutrients.
On trips home, I would go to the grocery store, buy bunches of escarole to eat throughout my visit. This year, all of that changed when we moved into a new house and I met my next-door neighbor. He had a vegetable patch in his back yard and offered to grow some for me.
When the vegetables were ready there was more than a girl could eat, at least 30 heads of it! What a wonderful neighbor!
My neighbor asked my son to help him pull some from the ground and he jumped at the chance!
Once at home, I couldn’t wait to get cooking. Washing it straight out of the ground was hard work, but worth the effort. It made a huge batch of soup.
Escarole can be very bitter and you should remove most of the outer leaves to reveal the heart of the vegetable. The lemon juice in my recipe is for those who find escarole too bitter, but it can easily be omitted or adjusted to personal taste.
Why This Recipe Works
- Onion and garlic give this soup a classic Italian flavor that can’t be beat!
- Using the rind of the parmesan cheese adds an extra level of flavor.
- Serving this soup over pasta transforms this soup into a truly hearty and comforting meal in a a bowl.
How to Make Escarole Soup
- Cook onion and garlic until soft.
- Saute escarole until soft.
- Add lemon juice, chicken stock, Parmesan cheese and salt.
- Simmer the soup while cooking the pasta separately.
- Combine soup and cooked pasta.
- Season to taste.
- Serve and enjoy!
Escarole is part of the endive family and has a mildly bitter flavor. To reduce the bitter flavor try not to overcook it.
This soup is thought to have originated in Naples and the original Italian name is Minestra Maritata, which means “married soup” because of the perfect “marriage” of the ingredients.
You can make this soup vegetarian by simply replacing the chicken stock with vegetable stock.
Other Italian Dishes You’ll Love
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Let’s Make Escarole and Pasta Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 pound escarole cleaned & chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice Optional – used to cut the bitterness
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 ounce parmesan cheese on on the rind
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 8 ounces pasta
- Parmesan cheese grated for serving
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook until soft.
- Add the garlic and cook another minute.
- Add the escarole and saute until wilted, about 2 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice, chicken stock, Parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt.
- Cover and simmer until the escarole is the softness you prefer.
- While the soup simmers, cook the pasta according to package instructions and set aside until needed.
- Season the soup with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Ladle onto the pasta in soup bowls. Serve with crusty bread.
Tips + Notes
- Escarole can be very bitter and you should remove most of the outer leaves to reveal the heart of the vegetable. The lemon juice in my recipe is for those who find escarole too bitter, but it can easily be omitted or adjusted to personal taste.