Escarole & Anchovy Soup with Garlic Crostini
Recipe type: Soup, Lunch, Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Even if you think you don’t like anchovies, I encourage you to try them in this recipe. They melt into the olive oil (so you don’t actually see them!) and add amazing depth and complexity to this quick soup. If you’d like to bulk the soup up, feel free to add cannellini beans, chickpeas, or sausage. I kept it light this time around because, well, I had an apple cake about to go in the oven.
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, very thinly sliced
  • 6 Anchovies
  • ¼ tsp. (or to taste) Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 heads Escarole, roughly chopped
  • about 5 c. Chicken or Vegetable Stock (preferably homemade, otherwise use low-salt store-bought stock)
  • Crusty Bread (day old is fine)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 or 2 additional cloves of Garlic
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Heat 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil with the anchovies in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Use a wooden spoon the break up the anchovies and help them dissolve into the oil. Add the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until the garlic is light gold, about 2 minutes. Add the chopped escarole, season lightly with salt, and toss until wilted, about 3 minutes. Cover with stock, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the escarole is tender, 10-15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make crostini. Cut thick slices of bread (1 or 2 per serving of soup, depending on the size and shape of the loaf), place on a baking sheet, and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Bake until golden and crunchy, about 10 minutes. Smash the remaining garlic clove(s) with the back of a knife and rub into the warm toasted bread. Place the crostini in the bottom of soup bowls and grate parmesan cheese over them.
  4. The soup should be about ready! Taste. Season, as needed with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon to sharpen the flavors. Ladle the soup over the crostini and serve. When serving soups like this, I always bring a hunk of parmesan, a couple of lemon wedges, and olive oil to the table so everyone can customize and adjust to their own tastes.
Recipe by strawberryplum at