Inspiration swells up from the strangest corners of our minds sometimes. This soup is a funny amalgamation of the parmigiano broth I enjoyed pumpkin ravioli in at Frankie’s in Brooklyn, the visual of toasted pine nuts floating in broth, and then…I have no idea where the escarole came from. I’ve never cooked with escarole. Maybe I chose it because it’s fun to say? No matter, it tastes great in this…so good job, past Claire! I have no idea what you were thinking, but it paid off.
Escarole is a slightly bitter lettuce, and I love it in this soup. It holds its crisp texture pretty well, adding a lovely counter texture to this rich, and full bodied soup. Enjoy!
10 ounces parmigiano rinds, any paper at the ends removed
8 cups water
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
handful of flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 pinch chili flake
1 carrot, roughly chopped
kosher salt, to taste
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 to 3 ounces escarole, finely sliced
3/4 cup of pine nuts, toasted
thin slices of baguette, toasted
olive oil and parmesan for serving
Bring all broth ingredients to a boil in a large pot, then reduce it to a simmer, cooking for one hour. Strain the broth. You should have approximately 6 cups. You can use this right away or cool it before storing it.
Clean out the pot, and over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for about 10 minutes, until translucent. Add the escarole and toasted pine-nuts, stirring until the escarole is wilted, about 5 minutes. Top with a slice of toasted baguette. Drizzle baguette and soup lightly with your favorite olive oil and grate some fresh parmesan cheese over. Enjoy!