Cannellini & Escarole Stew with Parmesan Garlic Toast


It’s been a rough week getting used to Michigan again. After the familiar, temperate climes of England, I was ill-prepared for the gargantuan snow piles and biting wind of the Midwest. I thought I should share my cure with you, solace in a bowl if you will.

beans and escarole

This is the perfect stew for retreating indoors and curling up with a blanket. It comes together very quickly and with minimum fuss, not much peeling chopping or grating. I like to serve garlicky parmesan toasts alongside the stew, they are perfect for dunking. Yum yum yum!


A few things to note with this recipe- please use a low sodium stock or broth otherwise the cooked-down stock could result in a very salty dish (we made this mistake once!). You could also adapt this to be vegan by simply cutting out the parmesan and making garlic toasts instead. Lastly, you could play around with the beans and greens if you are up for an experiment, just sub in whatever you have to hand.



Cannellini & Escarole Stew with Parmesan Garlic Toast
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A comforting stew of Cannellini beans and escarole with delicious garlic and parmesan toast for dunking.
Recipe type: Soup & Stew
Serves: 2 generously or 4 for a lighter meal
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 3 cups good quality, low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1 tin cannellini beans (14oz/400g)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 1 head of escarole, chopped into ½ inch ribbons
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices of good quality whole grain bread
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan
  • olive oil to drizzle
  1. Slowly heat olive oil in a large pot, add garlic cloves and fry very gently until the edges become slightly golden (this will happen quickly, so be careful, nothing is more displeasing than burned garlic!)
  2. At this point, add the stock and wine, bring to a boil and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes to reduce to stock and concentrate all of that flavor
  3. Reduce the heat and stir in the beans and seasoning, cook for a couple of minutes
  4. Fold in the escarole ribbons until they begin to wilt
  5. Cover, and reduce the heat to the lowest setting
  6. Allow the escarole to cook very gently and all the flavors to combine while you make the toast
  7. Arrange bread slices on a baking tray and toast under the grill or broiler for a minute until barely toasted
  8. Remove the slices of bread, flip them over and put them back in the oven until the second side is just barely toasted
  9. Remove from the oven and rub the garlic clove liberally over the surface of each slice, you should have very little clove left after this step
  10. Sprinkle a small handful of parmesan on each slice
  11. Drizzle the whole lot with a little olive oil
  12. Return to the oven for a couple of minutes until the cheese has melted
  13. Serve the soup into wide, shallow bowls and garnish with fresh parsley and salt and pepper to taste
  14. Add the toast to the side
  15. Slurp and dunk to your hearts content


I was first inspired to combine escarole with white beans after making this risotto from Smitten Kitchen. In developing this recipe I also consulted this creation by Chef John at Food Wishes .