This warm and homey Escarole Soup is the perfect way to celebrate the new Fall weather. Crisp, cool air always gets me excited for hearty recipes like this one. With all the veggies and protein served in a savory broth, this recipe is pretty guilt free. Ditallini pasta or gluten free pasta is sprinkled on top as a garnish creating a meal that can serve everyone’s individual preference and needs!
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend 5 full days with my oldest son for his 9th birthday. We’ve made it a tradition in our family that when you turn 9, you can pick mommy or daddy for a 1:1 trip for 5 days. The tradition began last Summer, when my oldest daughter turned 9. She had been asking and asking to go on a plane. Since none of my children had ever been on a plane (because mommy had been popping out babies for the last 7 years and didn’t want to fly anywhere with 5 little children) I thought a 1:1 trip would be much appreciated. I surprised her with a trip to North Carolina where we went white water rafting, zip lining, fishing and tubing on the lake, spent the day at Carowinds Water and Amusement Park and did girly things like getting pedicures. I set the bar pretty high on her trip so it was no wonder my son picked me for his!
Providing individual attention proves to be difficult on a daily basis. I know my children savor those moments when we’re alone with no one to interrupt us whether it’s a lunch date, grocery run, snuggle time on the couch, a back scratch before bed or, if they’re really lucky, sleeping with mommy when daddy is on shift. I have learned to appreciate the little ways I can make them feel special every day.
So back to our trip… We went to California! Took a nonstop flight from Ft Lauderdale to LAX where we were met by a very dear friend of mine who I had not seen in over 15 years. He and his wife were so kind to let us stay with them in their beautiful home in Irvine as Cayden and I explored Cali. We experienced many firsts together, as I had never been to California before either. Seeing the rocky beaches with cliffs and exploring tide pools, feeling the freezing water and beautiful weather was new and so exciting for us both. We drove up to La Jolla and saw the seals and sea lions on the beaches, shared the most delicious sushi and ate caramel apples as we walked the streets looking over the ocean. Another day we drove to Big Bear with our friends where we hiked, collected freshly fallen pine cones, slid down the Alpine Slide, saw leaves that were changing beautiful Fall colors, wore a jacket and ate the BEST pizza I had ever had at Saucy Mamas. That particular day felt like a dream. We also had a bon fire on the beach, picked a pumpkin from a REAL pumpkin patch, saw the release of 7 sea lions back into the wild and visited 2 temples, the San Diego Temple and LA Temple, while we were there. It was a new adventure every day. It is a trip I hope he never forgets. That time spent, just him and I, was precious and I LOVED every minute of it. I missed my other 4 and was so grateful my husband was willing to watch them all. We both know how important these trips are for many reasons and hope we can continue the tradition for our next 3 as they each turn 9.
This Escarole Soup is absolutely delicious! My Aunt Brenda gave this recipe and I have made it a ton over the last year. It’s super hearty, always leaving us full. Before this recipe, I had never bought escarole before. This dark, leafy green has a very mild flavor but is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Just like spinach, it cooks down a lot so make sure you buy a large head, like this one. You’ll use ALL the greens for the soup.
One of my favorites about this recipe is that it can be served gluten free for my husband who has Celiac’s. The pasta in this recipe is actually a garnish so it is served on top and is not a main ingredient. I usually make separate pasta for him and use the ditallini pasta for us. It satisfies his needs and keeps everyone happy, enjoying the same meal together.