Miracle Soup didn't start out to be Miracle Soup. It started out to be 'scarole and beans, and I canonized it. If you ascribe to the philosophy that food is medicine, this stuff is right up there with the Salk vaccine. Don't get me wrong. 'Scarole and beans is delicious. But it also works wonders when invoking St. Anthony is getting you nowhere.
Miracles are few and far between these days. I mean, if we're taking at face value what Sister Barbara was telling us in first grade, people were used to go around parting the Red Sea, raising the dead, and turning water into wine all the time. Nowadays we can't even get a pothole fixed.
Here are the miraculous ingredients: 'Scarole and beans has 'scarole (escarole, but nobody calls it escarole) so you get your greens (lots of vitamins), beans (protein, iron, fiber), garlic (proof that God loves us), olive oil (you'll live a hundred years), and chicken broth (a miracle in itself). And if you serve it with a substantial amount of crushed red pepper, it'll clear out your chest and sinuses.
'Scarole and Beans (Miracle Soup)
Cook a pound of white beans according to the package directions. While that's going on, put about six cups of chicken broth in a big pot. Now take two big heads of 'scarole, wash them, tear up the leaves, and put them in the pot with the chicken broth. It'll look like a LOT of 'scarole, but don't worry, it cooks down. Bring the chicken broth to a boil, cover the pot, and turn down the heat until it's just simmering. Simmer for about an hour. When the beans are done, pour off some of the excess water, but don't drain them. You want some of the bean juice left in there. Now take a half a head of garlic, chop it fine and brown it lightly in a quarter cup of olive oil. Stir the garlic and olive oil into the beans, and pour the beans into the escarole. Salt and pepper to taste, and you can add a little dried basil if you want. Serve with crushed red pepper.
Some people brown some Italian sausage and put it in the soup. But why.
Connie, you might say, that's a lot of work to do when I'm sick. And you'd be right, so if you don't have somebody else to do the cooking for you, use the next recipe.
'Scarole and Beans Express (Miracle Express)
Put a big box of chicken broth in a pot. Bring to a simmer. Brown a half a head of chopped garlic in a quarter cup of olive oil. Add a can of white beans to the garlic and oil, heat through, and pour it in the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and add a package of frozen spinach. Salt, pepper, and a little dried basil. Eat with crushed red pepper, as much as you can stand.
And feel better.