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Escarole and Rice Soup

(Zuppa di scarola e riso)

This Italian soup is easy, filling, and tasty; serve hot as a first course to 4 people.

Separate the escarole leaves and wash thorougly, discarding all wilted parts. Cut into diagonal ribbons, about 1/8-1/4 inch wide.

In a large saucepan, saute onions in butter over medium heat until they are browned. Add the escarole ribbons and a little salt, and saute for a minute or two, stirring occasionally to cut the greens with butter. Add 1/2 cup stock, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer until tender, about 20-30 minutes. Add the rest of the stock, bring to a boil, stir in the rice, then cover. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 15-20 minutes--the rice should not be mushy. Remove from heat, stir in the Parmesan cheese, and adjust for seasoning.

Ladle into soup bowls and serve immediately.