Minestra di scarole e fagioli from Campania
It’s cold. It’s wet. It’s miserable and dark. Yes, even in Southern Italy, it is December after all! All of this means only one thing… Soup! When you come home on one of those horrid winter nights after a long day at work there’s nothing better than a steaming hot bowl of soup, and there are so many quick easy recipes out there…
Like this one!
I know what you’re thinking. It looks less like soup, more like stew… but that’s how i like my soup… thick enough to walk on!
This soup is spicy and delicious, warming and hearty. At the same time it is pretty low on calories and high on nutrition, making it a great ally in helping you to fight off nasty winter bugs as well as being tasty and comforting.
You will need (serves 2)
One medium to large head of curly endive
Half a medium onion
One fresh, HOT, red chilli pepper.
One teaspoon of olive oil
One tablespoon of smoked bacon bits
One 400g jar or tin of any white bean (eg. cannellini, butter beans, borlotti)
Start by removing the base of the endive stalk then rinsing the leaves and boiling thems for a few minutes in some slightly salted water. Once the leaves and stalks are fairly tender but not too soft, empty the pan into a colander and leave to drain.
In the meantime, finely chop the onion and the chilli pepper while gently heating the oil over a low heat. Add the onion and chilli to the pan and make sure they are coated thinly in oil, then add the bacon bits and cook until the bacon bits are browned and the onion is translucent.
Take the drained endives and add them to the pan, cutting them up with scissors or a sharp kinfe if neccessary. Add the beans, including the water they were stored in, then add another half glass of water using the jar the beans came from. Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
There, easy, quick and tasty! Serve with crusty Italian bread to mop up the juices.