Serious Eats: Recipes

The Crisper Whisperer: Escarole and Bean Soup with Pistachio Pesto

In the Crisper

Featured Veg: Escarole
Prep: Wash in several changes of water
Eat: Raw in salad, sautéed, in soup
Substitute: Kale, collards, spinach (cooked in soup) or bitter salad greens (raw)

Did you see the movie Juno a few years back? I thought she was such an appealing character. She really had my respect, my loyalty. I was with her through the teen pregnancy, and when she started spending too much time with the married dude, and even when she ding-dong-ditched like a complete spaz. I was there for her, man.

But we parted ways big time when she made fun of The Girl Who Smelled Like Soup. Probably you don't even remember that part. Probably I wouldn't either if it hadn't sent a prickly chill of recognition down my spine.

Here's the thing, though. I'm the girl who smells like soup. I smell like soup on this very day. I'm quite certain that I showed up to high school on more than one occasion smelling like soup as well.

And do you know what, Juno? Soup smells good. Today is a pretty good day. Even if we can't be friends.

Serious eaters, why am I laying this sad argument between me and a fictional high schooler on all of you? Two reasons, my friends. One: I'm just a little miswired like that. Two: When one of you asked for advice on how to use escarole, this soup--an updated version of the one that perfumed my childhood bookbags--is the recipe I wanted to share with you.

This soup is inseparable from the complex aromas that belie its quick and easy nature; and if we're being honest here, those aromas are inseparable from, well, me. All of which is to say that I'm just a little miswired like that. So only one reason, really. But a mighty fine, soup-smelling reason it is. If I do say so.

Quick Escarole and Bean Soup with Pistachio Pesto

About the author: Carolyn Cope writes Umami Girl and manages a CSA in Hoboken, New Jersey.

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