Mess o’ Greens Soup

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

Greens are good for you. They’re rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, easy to prepare and cook, fresh and good tasting, too.


  • 1 pound escarole, collards, chicory, swiss chard, or any combination, torn into 1-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 8 cups Chicken Broth or reduced-sodium canned broth, fat skimmed
  • 1 carrot, sliced into thin rounds
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup cooked pasta, such as tubetti, acini di pepe, semi de melone, or quadrettini
  • 2 strips lemon zest, chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6 large basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon thin-sliced scallion greens
  • Freshly ground black pepper


    1. Combine the escarole, garlic, and oil in a large heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until escarole is tender, about 15 minutes.
    2. Add the broth, carrot, and salt. Heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until carrots are just tender, about 5 minutes. Add pasta to soup.
    3. Just before serving, heat soup to a simmer. Place lemon zest, garlic, and basil on a cutting board and finely chop the mixture together. Stir it into the soup and simmer for 3 minutes. Sprinkle soup with scallions and pepper. Serve hot.