The Feast Day of St Nicholas
• To emphasize small treats and family fun: St. Nicholas loved children
• To provide a bit of special festivity early in the waiting weeks of Advent
It's better to give than receive
- Instead of salt pork, you could use some leftover beef, or make it completely meat free.
- You can change the navy beans to your favorite bean
- Kale or spinach could be used in place of escarole
- You could use vegetable or chicken stock instead of beef stock
- You could load up this soup with lots more veggies as well!
BEAN SOUP WITH ESCAROLE
- 1 pound dried navy beans (I substituted with chick peas!)
- 6 cups beef stock
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ pound lean salt pork cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 1 cup minced onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large head escarole
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Grated Parmesan cheese to pass at table
1. Soak the beans overnight in water to cover by 2 inches. Or, cover with water, bring to a boil, boil 5 minutes, and soak, covered, for 1 hour.
2. Put the beans and their soaking water, the beef stock, and bay leaves in a large kettle. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 hour, or until the beans are tender.
3. While the beans are cooking, put the salt pork in a large skillet and brown over moderate heat. Add the onions and garlic, and cook them in the rendered fat, but do not let them brown. Stir frequently. Remove the mixture with a slotted spoon, and add it to the soup.
4. Wash the escarole thoroughly, and tear it into 2-inch pieces. When the beans are cooked, add the escarole. Simmer 5 minutes or until soft. Season to taste, keeping in mind the fact that Parmesan cheese is salty. Serve at once, with a bowl of grated Parmesan cheese. 8 servings.
Do you have a traditional dish to celebrate? I'd love to hear - comment below and share!