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By Dianne Bunis

Baby, it’s cold outside!

Soup to the rescue!

Autumn has arrived. New England’s majestic maple trees are turning red and yellow, orange pumpkins and corn stalks decorate doorsteps and the air has taken a chilly turn. So chilly and damp, in fact, that a bowl of hot soup sounds about right.

A trip to the farmstand brought fresh escarole, tomatoes, onions and garlic.

A bowlful of soup delivers an excellent source of fiber, protein, iron and potassium that’ll warm you up!

Escarole soup

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced

1/2 cup sweet onion, diced

1 bunch escarole, rinsed and cut into 1/4-inch strips

4 cups vegetable broth (or low sodium chicken broth)

1/2 cup sliced (to 1/4-inch pieces) baby carrots

1 medium tomato, seeded, finely chopped, then mashed (use potato masher), reserve juice

1/4 cup broccoli, finely chopped

1 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans, rinsed (this removes most of the sodium)

A pinch of ground ginger

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper, to taste

Parmesan cheese, finely grated

PREPARATION

1. Drizzle the olive oil into a large saucepan and turn cooktop to medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add escarole and stir constantly until escarole is wilted and soft.

2. Next, add broth, carrots, broccoli, tomato with juices, ginger and garbanzo beans. Stir to combine then reduce heat, cover.

3. Let simmer for 30 minutes, until all vegetables are tender. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

4. Ladle into bowls, garnish with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Serve with fresh, crusty bread.

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