Slow-Cooker Sicilian Chickpea and Escarole Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Yield: Serves 6
  • 2 fennel bulbs, halved, cored, and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • 8 ounces (1 1/4 cups) dried chickpeas, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 parmesan cheese rind
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • To finish:
  • 1/2 head escarole (8 ounces), trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • Freshly-cracked black pepper
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  1. Microwave fennel, oil, garlic, oregano, anchovies, and pepper flakes in a small mixing bowl, stirring occasionally, until fennel is softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer to the slow-cooker; stir in broth, chickpeas, and parmesan rind. Cover and cook until chickpeas are tender, 10-11 hours on low, 7-8 hours on high.
  3. Discard parmesan rind. Season to taste with salt (it may not need it). Stir in escarole and cook on high until tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Ladle into bowls, drizzle with olive oil, and garnish with pepper and parmesan.
If you can't find escarole, other sturdy chicories like endive or radicchio can be substituted for a similar flavor. Or, for a milder flavor, try subbing kale. This soup freezes very well; if you choose to freeze, don't add the escarole, and instead add that when you defrost and reheat. If you don't have any parmesan rinds stashed in your freezer, or a piece of cheese it can be trimmed away from, some cheese counters sell rinds for a reasonable price.
Recipe by A Modest Feast at