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Many people from outside New Orleans don’t know of our rich Italian heritage in the city. Here’s a quick and easy recipe for an Italian Peasant Soup that’s sure to warm you up on a cold holiday evening.
1/4 cup red onion, chopped fine
4 cloves of garlic, minced
6 cups of chicken stock
1 15-ounce can of white beans
1 head bitter winter greens such as broccoli rabe, mustard greens or escarole, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Parmesan cheese to taste
In a large pot, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium/medium high heat. Add onions, cook for two minutes on medium heat. Add garlic and cook two more minutes. Add white beans, black pepper and parsley and cook for a minute. Add stock, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. After about ten minutes add the greens, and let cook for about another 5 minutes.
Pour into bowls and top with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve with thick crusty bread and you have a meal unto itself.
Depending on your use of canned chicken stock and canned beans, be very judicious with the amount of salt added. I recommend none. But some may wish to add some at the end, depending on taste. The pepper is necessary, however.