Escarole Soup with Rice

  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic, finely minced, plus 4 or 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped escarole (about one head)
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock, or water
  • ¼ cup short-grain white rice, like arborio
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Put 2 tablespoons oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat. When oil is hot, add minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add onions and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 more minutes. Add escarole and cook, tossing gently, until it begins to wilt, about another 3 minutes.

Add stock and rice to the pan, bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and cook about 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Meanwhile, put remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a small skillet. When oil is hot, add sliced garlic and cook over medium-low heat until it turns golden brown and begins to crisp. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon and set aside. When rice is cooked through, season soup with salt and pepper, top with a grating of Parmesan and garnish with garlic slivers.

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