Escarole is transformed by heat, changing from a bitter green into something soft, mellow, and sultry. If you crave extra crunch, use fresh green beans instead of canned. As with most soups, the longer it sits, the better it gets, making this a great make-ahead option.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces diced pancetta
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 large heads escarole, cored and roughly chopped (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1 (14.5-oz.) can cut Italian green beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15-oz.) cans unsalted cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium. Add pancetta and garlic; cook, stirring often, until pancetta is crisp and garlic is aromatic, about 5 minutes. Add black pepper, red pepper, and escarole; cook, stirring often, until escarole begins to wilt, about 5 minutes. Add green beans, cannellini beans, stock, and basil; increase heat to high. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 1 hour. Stir in vinegar and Parmesan cheese.
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