This is a very quick, VERY easy, and delicious soup to make. It is hearty and great for cooler weather. I recommend a crusty bread for dipping. There are 3 variations that you can make from this recipe: (1) You can make this without the escarole for regular Pasta Fagioli. (2) There is traditional "Escarole and Bean" - which is similar....just leave out the pasta. And (3), is a traditional Portuguese Kale Soup, by leaving out pasta, using Kale instead of escarole, and adding cooked chirizo and potatoes.
1/3 lb of small pasta (such as ditalini)
3 garlic cloves
1/4 head of escarole, rinsed and chopped coarsely
1 tbsp fresh parsley
1 can small white beans, drained (navy beans or other)
1/4 cup parmesan or romano cheese
salt + black pepper to taste
Cook pasta, drain and set aside. In saute pan, crush the garlic cloves, and cook in olive oil approx 2 minutes. Add escarole, cover and let cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. In large pan, bring stock to a simmer. Add the beans. Now, remove half the beans to a blender, and blend with small amount of stock, and then return to soup. An alternative is to add half the beans, and then use an immersion blender
(these are great gadgets - go to Amazon from this site). Add all remaining ingredients, except cooked pasta. When ready to serve, then laddle soup into bowl, and add pasta separately. This prevents the pasta from absorbing all the stock. Top with more grated cheese, and drizzle with olive oil (optional).