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Monday, October 18, 2021

Italian Escarole Soup- Vegan

escarole soup, oil-free soup, gluten=free soup

Have you heard of escarole but never cooked or tasted it? 

My husband's Italian grandmother, born in Livorno, Italy, used to make escarole soup. She is the inspiration behind this simple family favorite. It cooks up very quickly and can me prepped, cooked, and enjoyed in under 25 minutes.

Disclaimer : I know the cooked greens in the photo of the soup above photographed very dark, but I tried many times and it was the best I could shoot. The soup was not quite that dark looking.  

Endive, Vegetable, Garden, Food

Escarole is a green similar to leaf lettuce, but it is part of the chicory family the same as curly endive. Escarole has broad flatter leaves, while curly endive has narrower, thinly cut leaves. They tend to be  slightly more bitter than lettuce, but not as bitter as kale. I like the flavor in salads or cooked in this soup.

Endive, Salad, Vegetables, Meal, Green, Healthy, FreshItalian cuisine often calls the use a lot of greens in its cooking.

escarole soup, vegan soup, greens,

One of my good friends told me that her Italian grandmother ( a new immigrant at the time) used to search for wild dandelion greens on NYC city streets years ago when my friend was a kid, and that broccoli raab was always a staple in an Italian home and one of my favorites.

Escarole is a green that I always associate with Italian cooking. This soup may be simple, but I assure you it is satisfying and soothing. I like to add some cooked rice to it to give it a little more substance. Plain or with rice, it is a delicious quick and easy to make seasonal fall soup. 

escarole soup with white rice, oil-free soup

I cook my soup in the Instant Pot, but of course you can cook yours  on the stove top just as easily. Simply bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and then simmer until the greens are soft- (maybe 5 minutes).

BTW- This soup calls for a good deal of fresh garlic.

I usually just slice each clove in half or thirds (see photo below). 
 I like the larger piece of cooked garlic in my soup. If you don't, dice your garlic very small. Yes, it's a lot of garlic, but when its cooked in soup it is not strong or pungent. 

Escarole is a fall (and spring) crop and you may see it in the local farmer's markets right now. It is also available in most supermarkets.

If you are not a fan of greens, then try out my (link) butternut squash and sage soup which is rich tasting and delicious. 

Butternut squash and sage soup in Instant Pot www.realfoodblogger.com

Comforting, soothing, and warming-  I love soup on a cool breezy fall day! 

Fall, Gold, Golden Autumn, Leaves

Author of the Blog: Judee Algazi
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes in Instant Pot ( allow for time for IP to heat up) 
Serves: 4 

1 small head of escarole, washed and chopped (about 4 cups chopped)
10 whole cloves of fresh garlic, sliced in half 
4 cups of water
3 cups of vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon of onion powder 
1/4 teaspoon of garlic  powder 
Optional: 1/4 cup of cooked rice per bowl

Place everything in the Instant Pot and set to pressure cook for 2 minutes. When done allow to sit for 2 minutes and then carefully manually release steam according to the manufacturers directions. Ladle into bowls and add cooked rice if desired.

Stove Top Directions: 
I cook my soup in the Instant Pot, but of course you can cook yours  on the stove top just as easily. Simply bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and then simmer until the greens are soft- (about 5 minutes).

My Notes: 
1. Garlic -I happen to love garlic cloves when they are cooked and don't mind eating big pieces of cooked garlic. If you prefer, chop your garlic into little pieces. (cooked garlic is very mellow- not at all pungent)

2. Great Nutrition-Old family recipes, such as this one, provides excellent nutrition. For example, the escarole is rich in Vitamin A, iron, folates, and Vitamin K as well as fiber. Garlic is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect us. 

3. Salads- If you have extra escarole, cut some up to add a new flavor to  your salad - so healthy 

Sharing this post on Souper Sunday where Deb at Kahakai Kitchen posts amazing soup recipes anyone can share (post to her linky) a soup, salad, or sammie recipe.


  1. It's called Endive here. It tastes better when slightly cooked, and with garlic of course :-)

    1. We seem to have two kinds here- escarole and endive. I should check maybe it's the same. Yes, the garlic makes it.

  2. I normally don't like escarole/endive, but this soup is super intriguing, so I should give it a go. The lots of garlic there sounds amazing :P

  3. You've created a masterpiece with just 6 ingredients... and the more garlic the better. This soup is the perfect remedy for a cold Fall evening.

  4. It is definitely soup season today. The wind has made it cold. These both look delicious. I've never had escarole in soup, but I would like to try that. I think I need to get a head and give that recipe a try. Happy new week.

  5. My grandmother used to make escarole soup too! We always had it for Easter, with little meatballs and tortellini. She passed away more than ten years ago, but reading your post makes me think of her. So, thanks for the nostalgia -- and the healthy alternative. May you make many happy soup memories! :)

  6. I never tried escarole soup...it looks delicious and healthy!!...great idea!.....Abrazotes, Marcela

  7. Wow, that's a lot of garlic. Looks delicious!

  8. I'm not sure if I knew about escarole but I'll look for it at the market. That's a lot of garlic. I do like soup as the temps here are getting much cooler. The butternut squash looks good too and pumpkin soup!

  9. Garlic varies so much depending on age and variety. I wonder if some types would still taste very strong after just a few minutes of cooking. The flavors here do look tempting.

    best...mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  10. I love this soup! Although I usually use a bit less garlic. :-) And add white beans to the mix (they're wonderful with greens). Good stuff -- thanks.

  11. I love escarole, but rarely use it, and I'm not quite sure why. Thanks for the delicious reminder.

  12. So glad to find you ! The soup looks sooo delicious !!!


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