Soup with Escarole, White Beans and Sausage

When I saw that we were getting escarole from Tecolote Farms in our Local Box, I was excited for two reasons: (1) I have been craving sausage and escarole soup something fierce (2) I was already planning to visit Tecolote Farms on Saturday for a food swap. It seems silly when I write it down, but I felt like seeing the farmers who grew my Local Box escarole would be like seeing celebrities!!

Tecolote farmers Katie and Dave did not disappoint when I saw them last Saturday.  Their fields are about half an hour east of my house in Austin, flanked by live oak trees and dirt roads.

At the food swap, I managed to keep my celebrity-farmer-worship in check long enough to trade Farmer Katie some muffins for some Tecolote mustard greens. After the food swap Farmer Dave was kind enough to give us  swappers a tour of the farm.

Dave discussed some of the challenges of organic farming in Texas (draught, wind, heat, politics) and gave us some delicious, fresh-picked samples of the crops they’re growing at Tecolote this spring. Here he is, picking some peppery micro-greens for us to try.

As I had hoped, I got to see some of the Local Box escarole while it was still in the field! Dave didn’t seem to mind my paparazzi farm photos too much.

Visiting the farm in person really helped me appreciate how many hours of work local farmers spend providing food for us each week in the city. I left Tecolote Farms with a renewed sense of enthusiasm for locally sourced produce. And a renewed craving for that sausage and escarole soup.

Since I was in the neighborhood, I sourced the sausage in this recipe from Meyers’ Sausage in Elgin. Any sausage would work fine, but I am partial to either Meyers’ smoked sage or Richardson Farms‘ brats because their rich flavor complements the creamy beans and bitter greens in this hearty soup.

Escarole, Sausage and White Bean Soup (serves 4-6)
4 links sausage
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 spring onions
2 cloves garlic
1 head escarole
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
1-3/4 cups cooked white beans, such as cannellini (2, 14.5 ounce cans)
1 cup cooking liquid from the beans (or liquid from the can)
1 quart chicken broth

Cut off the tough bottom stem of the escarole, then wash the remaining leaves in cold water to get rid of any grit. Set the escarole leaves aside to dry. Slice spring onions and mince garlic; set aside.

Slice sausage into rounds and place in a heavy bottomed soup pot. Heat over medium, stirring occasionally. Once the fat from the sausage starts to render, add onions and garlic to the pot and cook until tender. Add Worcestershire sauce and a tablespoon of water to the pot as the sausage mixture continues to cook. Meanwhile, slice the escarole leaves into thin ribbons and mince the parsley. Add these to the pot along with the red pepper and stir. Continue sauteing greens until they lose half their volume, for about 5 minutes.

Once there’s enough room in the pot, add the cooked beans, 1 cup of bean liquid, and 1 quart of chicken broth. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to low, and allow soup to simmer for about 15 minutes before serving.

This post is sponsored by Greenling Organic Delivery and appears on their blog “Eating Out of the Local Box.”

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7 responses to “Soup with Escarole, White Beans and Sausage

  1. Excellent post thanks for sharing. Food is something I can enjoy all around. If I’m not eating it. I’m reading and looking at pictures about it.

    Delicious Cod Recipe

  2. I just happen to have all three in the house now. Thanks for planning my lunch.

    “It’s not how much you do, but how much passion you put in the doing. ” – Angiolo Piccini

  3. i don’t eat much sausage, and when i do it’s usually chicken. but this looks too yummy not to want. also, one time i was at b&n and saw a local married artist/photog couple and kind of freaked out. i wanted to scream to the whole building, do you KNOW who these people are?!?! haha. i would have looked crazy and freaked out my inspirations.

  4. I love the idea of a food swap. And great pictures of the farm! It’s always so much more fun to cook when you’ve gotten the ingredients fresh at a farm or farm stand or farmer’s market, etc. 🙂

  5. @Kristin. Chicken sausage would be awesome in this. And it it’s raw, you could just cut open the casing and cook the sausage crumbles for the first step. YUM. A few of my friends here in Austin are published authors. We hang out regularly and I still get starstruck!!

    @ChefMom Thanks for the nice words about my farm pictures! I love local food because I get to know all the nice people who grow it. 😀

  6. Thanks for the great post, Kathryn. We enjoyed having the Food Swap here and should do it again in the fall! If you’d like to link to our website (where folks can learn about our CSA, which still has a few spots), our website is http://www.tecolotefarm.net Thanks- and it was fun chatting with you at the book release! Katie, Tecolote Farm

  7. Pingback: Miracles of drip irrigation | Tecolote Farm

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