Chef’s Corner: Escarole and Bean Soup

Posted on December 14, 2023


It’s soup season, and our escarole and bean soup is the ultimate comfort food for you and your family! Loaded with health benefits, this soup is a great source of fiber, vitamins, folate and antioxidants! Warm up this winter with one of our favorites, it’s healthy, delicious and so easy to make!

About Chef Tony

Tony DiStefano joined the Whitsons team back in 2010, working as a Food Service Director at Eastern Suffolk BOCES. During his time at Whitsons, Tony has transitioned through many roles, currently serving as the Director of Strategic Operations for the Contract Management division, where he trains teams to work more efficiently. Having grown up with a family in the restaurant business, he’s always been around food. Chef Tony DiStefanoAfter culinary school he ventured out on his own, and his love of sweets led him to the bakery business. After the bakery sold, he was contracted to run bakeries and delis in supermarkets on military bases across the northeast. In his current role, Tony’s most rewarding job is doing guest chef visits at schools. He loves bringing the joy and excitement of wholesome foods to students, so that they can learn that healthy eating can be fun.

Escarole and Bean Soup


  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil 
  • 1 medium onion 
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 stalks celery, sliced 
  • 3 cups vegetable stock 
  • 4 cups cooked beans, with cooking liquid
    (* substitution: 2 15oz cans Italian Cannellini beans, dried not rinsed)
  • 1 head escarole rinsed, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste



1. Drizzle olive oil in a large pot set over medium-high heat.

2. Lower heat to medium, add 1 medium diced onion, and sauté for 5-7 minutes or until soft. 

3. Add the minced garlic and diced celery and sauté for a couple of minutes. 

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

5. Add stock and allow to simmer, then reduce until vegetables are soft. About 15-20 minutes.

6. Add the cooked (or canned) white beans and simmer for another 10 minutes.

7. Taste and adjust seasonings.

8. Add the coarsely chopped head of raw escarole and simmer until the greens are tender. 

9. Serve with a slice of whole wheat bread and garnish with freshly grated cheese, chopped parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil. 


Contributed by Tony DiStefano, Director of Strategic Operations, Contract Management Division