For whatever reason my mailbox was inundated with Women’s Health magazines this month. I always enjoy their recipes because one they are super healthy and two they are usually pretty easy to make. Of course when I came across another soup recipe I had to try it. This is probably the fastest soup I have ever made. Since I have introduced meat back into my diet I thought this was a perfect baby step in cooking meat at home. This soup can easily be made vegan, just use vegan sausage and vegetable broth. My only callout is to add a little salt, the soup tasted a little bland without it. 




  • 8 oz mild Italian pork sausage (remove from casing)

  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


  • ½ yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 8 cups (packed) chopped escarole

  • 1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • ½ tsp freshly ground pepper

  • 6 tsp olive oil

1. Form sausage into 30 teaspoon size balls. In a soup pot, brown the meatballs in olive oil for 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Remove to a plate.

2. Saute onion and fennel in the drippings for 10 minutes over medium-low heat. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add escarole, reserving a handful. Increase the heat to medium-high and toss for 2 minutes, until leaves wilt.

3. Return meatballs to the pot. Add beans, broth, pepper and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in reserved escarole. Divide among bowls and drizzle each with olive oil. 

{photos by me, recipe from Women’s Health magazine, April 2013}