I love this soup because a) there are very few ingredients and b) it includes a big ol' hunk o' cheese which, lets face it, is the bomb-diggety.
First, sauté a couple cloves of chopped garlic in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. I chopped a little too much, but it's okay. I have plans for that later...
After about 15-30 seconds of that, add about a pound of escarole. Once I couldn't find escarole and substituted something else (kale, maybe?) and it wasn't very good. I would definitely use escarole.
Then, add 4c chicken stock (I used half canned-- half homemade), a can of drained, rinsed cannelini beans, and some salt and pepper.
Finally, toss in a big ol' hunk o' parmesan cheese and let simmer, covered for some minutes. Giada says 5, I probably let in sit a little longer while I grilled the bread.
Oh yeah, I grilled the bread. This weekend, I had this amazing salad that had all kinds of grilled seafood on top-- scallops, calamari, shrimp. But the best part was the grilled bread! I was thinking about it tonight at the grocery store, and decided it would go perfectly with my tuscan soup. So, I used the rest of the chopped garlic and, after smashing it with the side of my knife, sautéed it in some oil on my grill pan. Then, I just doused both sides of the bread with more olive oil and grilled for a few minutes on each side.
I had this for lunch the following day, and it was even better. As all day-old-soup is. Day old bread, not so much. Anyway, the escarole had turned it this funny color, and it ends up looking like that slop that Charlie Bucket's family eats for every meal ("...cabbage water again?!"). It aint fancy, but trust me, it's delicious.
It isn't very cold this winter, but I still have been craving soups lately. I keep thinking about this one, and a Minorcan clam chowder we used to order at the Lighthouse Restaurant in St. Augustine when we were little. Have any of you ever made that? What soups do you like to cook when the weather outside is frightful?