ARGH!!!!!! I hate being sick. Besides feeling lousy and subsequently lazy, I also particularly despise being under the weather because I feel like I've failed at my job. "Health and Lifestyle Expert, you say. HA! Guess all that kale doesn't help after all, does it?", says the hunchbacked, moley curmudgeon in my head. "Yes it does!", I protest. "I NEVER get sick. This is just a freak occurrence!" And in all honesty, it is. I rarely get sick and when I do, it certainly passes quickly. Not this time, however. I was actually getting over a short lived cold last week when we visited our friends and their 7 month old daughter. Now, I adore this child and when we were told she had a cold I thought, "I've already had a cold (meaning I can't get another one) and she's just a baby. I can't get a cold from a baby!" And so I proceed to hold the baby, incessantly kiss the baby, and practically suck on the poor kid's face until we left. Three days later my cold was back with a vengeance and I've been resting (or trying to) for the last week. GOODNESS, can't a girl catch a break. It's certainly hard to relax when I've got so much I want to do and yet just making a simply meal for myself has been an accomplishment this week.
Alright, enough boo hooing. I will live, I will survive, and I have a lifetime to work hard so I might as well enjoy this little break. Monday I mustered the strength to make one of my favorite soups, Escarole with Borlotti Beans. Escarole is a hearty winter green that becomes surprisingly silky in this dish. Borlottis are a personal bean favorite of mine with their firm skin and creamy center. I know I shouldn't pick favorites, but this bean is tops for me. They are also an ideal introductory bean for they are nearly impossible to turn to mush. The finishing touch on the soup was a bit of leftover steak. I usually make a vegetarian version but the steak was crying out to me so I thought, why not? The meat was quite perfect actually and added a lovely bit of texture and depth. The soup also reheats beautifully and is quite nice over brown rice. I leave you now to take a nap. Enjoy!
Escarole and Borlotti Bean Soup
If you cannot find Borlottis, cannellini beans work just as well.
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
8 leaves of escarole, washed and chopped
2 cups borlotti beans, cooked
1 cup leftover steak, cubed (optional)
4-5 cups of vegetable, chicken, or turkey stock or water
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
sea salt and pepper
olive oil to taste
In a medium stock pot, heat up the olive oil. Add in the onion and a pinch of salt and saute for 3-5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and escarole and cook until the escarole has wilted. Add in the beans and the steak with another pinch of salt and heat through, about 2 minutes. Cover the mixture with your liquid of choice, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Add in the parley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top.