About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Spinach Soup | Main | Risi e Bisi - Rice and Peas »

Escarole Soup with Rice

This soup really surprised me. I had eaten escarole in soups before, but never as the main ingredient. I didn’t anticipate the amount of flavor that these simple ingredients could impart. When I was reading the recipe I was wondering why you would need to dilute the beef stock. I couldn’t imagine that you wouldn’t need the richness of the stock to compensate for the lack of other ingredients. Silly me. This is one time that I am very glad that I didn’t tinker with the recipe. Trust me I started to, but then thought, I have to be true to Marcella’s recipe, and I am so glad that I was. The magic is in the balance of flavors.


After I chopped the escarole and got it cooking with the onions and beef broth, I thought the smell was unpleasant. I let the escarole cook for about 50 minutes until it was tender and amazingly the smell changed drastically over that course of time. It started smelling better and better. Once I added the diluted beef broth and the Arborio I knew it would be great. When it finally finished and I had shot the picture, I sat down to eat a bowl. I was so thrilled with the soup that I was tempted to eat it all! I didn’t though, Michael would never forgive me! His Zia used to make a soup like this when he was really little, so it was definitely a trip back in time for him. This soup will be a keeper for us.

Comments (2)

Beth, I was in the store yesterday and Michael was RAVING!
He was telling me (and everyone else within earshot of the deli case) how great it was mentioning his childhood memories.

I've got to make this soup for Dan. As much as he hung out as a kid at Johnny Pic's house, you can bet Nonna Picarella served it at some point.

Sounds like a winner, Beth!

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The previous post in this blog was Spinach Soup.

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