Escarole e Fagioli

Escarole and Bean Soup

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Welcome to Claire's: 35 Years of Recipes and Reflections from the Landmark Vegetarian Restaurant

Welcome to Claire's

By Claire Criscuolo

Published 2014

  • About

This quintessentially Italian soup remains ever popular on our menu, something I’m happy for given it’s so rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. A bowl of this soup with good bread is all you need for a most satisfying lunch. It’s how our beloved customers do it nearly every day at Claire’s.


  • 4 quarts water
  • 12 ounces dry cannellini beans, picked over for stones and rinsed
  • 8 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • ½ small head Savoy cabbage, chopped
  • ½ bunch organic celery, chopped
  • 1 large fresh tomato, chopped, include juices
  • 1 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 large heads escarole, well washed to remove any grit, and coarsely chopped


    1. Bring the water to a boil in a large covered pot over high heat. Add the beans, garlic, cabbage, celery, tomato, parsley, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, basil, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine. Cover and return to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, for about 1½ hours, stirring occasionally, until the beans are barely tender.
    2. Stir in the escarole, cover and continue cooking for about 30-45 minutes, stirring frequently, until the escarole and the beans are tender to your preference. Taste for seasonings. Before serving, set aside 4 cups of the soup for Panecotto (see note below).