Pane cotto, also known as Tuscan bread soup, is a classic Italian dish that is both comforting and delicious. This recipe for Pane Cotto Escarole Beans is not only easy to make but also packed with flavor. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is sure to impress your family and friends.
To start, gather the following ingredients:
– 1 head of escarole, roughly chopped
– 1 can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
– 4 cups of vegetable broth
– 2 cloves of garlic, minced
– 1 onion, diced
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil
– 4 slices of stale bread, torn into pieces
– Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and diced onion, and cook until fragrant and softened. Add the escarole and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Next, add the vegetable broth and cannellini beans to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
While the soup is simmering, tear the stale bread into pieces and add it to the pot. Stir well to combine, allowing the bread to soak up the flavors of the soup. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the bread is soft and tender.
Serve the Pane Cotto Escarole Beans hot, garnished with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of black pepper. This soup is perfect for a chilly day or as a starter for a hearty Italian meal.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Can I use any other type of beans?
Yes, you can substitute cannellini beans with navy beans or great northern beans.
2. Can I use fresh bread instead of stale bread?
Stale bread works best for this recipe as it holds up better in the soup. However, you can use fresh bread if that’s all you have on hand.
3. Can I add other vegetables to the soup?
Absolutely! You can add carrots, celery, or even potatoes to make the soup heartier.
4. Can I freeze the leftovers?
Yes, you can freeze the leftover soup for up to 3 months. Just make sure to cool it completely before transferring it to an airtight container.
5. Can I use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth?
Yes, you can use chicken broth if you prefer a richer flavor.
6. Can I add meat to the soup?
Certainly! You can add cooked bacon, sausage, or even diced ham for added protein.
7. Can I use other types of greens instead of escarole?
Yes, you can use kale, spinach, or Swiss chard as a substitute.
8. Can I make this recipe vegan-friendly?
Yes, simply use vegetable broth and omit any meat or dairy-based garnishes.
9. Can I use fresh garlic instead of minced garlic?
Yes, you can use fresh garlic cloves. Just make sure to finely mince them before adding them to the pot.
10. Can I make this soup in a slow cooker?
Yes, you can transfer the ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
11. Can I serve this soup with a side dish?
Pane cotto is traditionally a complete meal on its own, but you can serve it with a side salad or crusty bread if desired.