Creamy Vegetable Soup with Escarole

Escarole, also called endive, has a slightly bitter taste, which beautifully balances out the rich flavors of this creamy vegetable soup. It all starts with a veggie broth base that’s enhanced with umami-rich mushroom, savory onion, and aromatic dill to create an absolutely slurpable soup. A double whammy of lemon—both the juice and zest—add brightness to the bold flavor profile. Whole wheat rotini noodles (any short pasta will work well, though) and chickpeas add heft to the wilted escarole leaves so you finish each bowl feeling nourished and satisfied. Serve with a side of crusty bread to sop up any extra broth!

For more noodle soup inspiration, check out these tasty ideas:

By Nancy Macklin, RDN,

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups chopped carrots
  • 1½ cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1¼ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1¼ teaspoon dried dill, crushed
  • 6 oz. dry whole wheat rotini pasta
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped fresh escarole or endive
  • 1 15-oz. can no-salt-added chickpeas, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Crusty whole grain French bread (optional)

Instructions

  • In a large pot cook the first six ingredients (through garlic) over medium 6 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding broth, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed to prevent sticking. Add the remaining broth, the thyme, and dill. Bring to boiling. Stir in rotini and escarole. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cook, uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes or until rotini is tender.
  • Place chickpeas in a small blender or food processor. Cover and blend until very smooth, adding a small amount of water if needed. Add to soup with lemon zest and juice; mix well.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Serve with crusty bread (if using).
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Joy Bolster

I did not have escarole so used spinach, did not have pasta so used tamaric couscous and it was delicious!!

About the Author

Headshot of Nancy Macklin

About the Author

Nancy Macklin, RDN

Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.
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