What do you do when you don’t know what else to make for dinner? You make soup, of course. And what do you do when you find that you have an overabundance of endive and want to use some of it up? You make soup, of course. I realize that the latter is probably not a common occurrence for most people, but then again, you never know. You never know when you are suddenly going to be overrun with endive and wondering what to do with it all. I mean really, it could happen to anyone, at any time. There you are, endive-less, going about your merry way and completely unsuspecting of the endive gold mine that is about to descend upon you. And then BAM! Suddenly you have more endive than you can shake a stick at. All endive, all the time.
Having experienced such an endive invasion and lived to tell the tale, I can assure you that it’s hardly as torturous as it sounds. In fact, it’s distinctly un-torturous and rather a pleasant experience altogether. Working with California Endive is good fun and it certainly challenges my creativity in the kitchen. But I did somehow end up with two shipments recently. I was supposed to let them know when I needed a shipment so I could showcase more endive recipes, and so I did. And a few days later, a good sized box of endive arrived. And then a few days later, another box of endive arrived. Whoops! I am not quite clear on what happened but I was suddenly in the position of being overrun with the vegetable and at a bit of a loss. I couldn’t fit it all in my fridge, so I kept one box in my cellar in an ice chest with some cooling packs, but it wasn’t ideal and it started to go faster than I could use it up.
My favourite way to eat endive is just raw. I love using the leaves to scoop up a delicious dressing or dip, and I really love it chopped up and added to any salad. Although similar to lettuce, it’s crunchier and adds an interesting depth of flavour. But I suddenly had so much endive, I knew that no amount of salads or dips could help me use it up. And when I was at a complete loss for dinner the other night, I figured a cream of endive soup would be just the thing. With some delicious Parmesan crisps as an accompaniment.
Cream of Endive Soup has been done before, I know, but I had a little fun with this. First, I used enough endive that the soup was thickened without any flours or starches and I decided to forego the actual cream altogether. It just didn’t seem to need it, although feel free to add a little to yours if you choose. I also wanted to complement the rosemary in the Parmesan crisps, so I tossed a few good-sized sprigs into the soup while it simmered. The final product had a light rosemary flavour that was delicious. I found myself wanting to call it “rosemary-scented”, but I just couldn’t do it for the official title. It sounded a little too pretentious for this delicious comfort-food meal. Because endive seems like fancy stuff, but it’s good down-home food too. Get in your jammies, grab a bowl and chow down. You’ll love it.
*Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Discover Endive. All thoughts, opinion, recipes and photography are my own.
Cream of Endive Soup with Rosemary Parmesan Crisps
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 heads California Endive coarsely chopped
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups chicken both
- 2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
- For the soup, heat butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add onions and salt, and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
- Add endive and cook until leaves are wilted, 2 or 3 minutes. Season with pepper.
- Add chicken broth and rosemary sprigs and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove rosemary sprigs. Use an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor and puree.
- For the crisps, preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Mix parmesan and rosemary in a small bowl, then make even 6 mounds on prepared baking sheet. Spread into a small circle, about 3 inches in diameter and press down gently.
- Bake 5 minutes, until crisp and lightly browned.
- Dish out soup with a few rosemary leaves for garnish and serve crisps on the side.