Tahini is a delicious non-dairy way to add creaminess to this creamy escarole and bean soup recipe. This non-dairy soup is a fast, easy vegan soup recipe that you will love.
It’s no secret that I’m a tahini fan. I’ve used it to make creamy miso ramen broth and lemon-tahini broth. Today’s tahini adventure led me down another soup path: creamy escarole and bean soup.
Usually, you can find a big tub of tahini at the Asian or Indian grocery stores, and it keeps so well in the fridge! It’s a little more expensive than peanut butter, but you usually only need a couple of tablespoons stirred into the soup at the very end, so a little goes a long way.
Personally, I am a big fan of Mighty Sesame Co. though any tahini will do. If using tahini from the jar or a tub, be sure to stir vigorously as there will be some separation in the container.
Tahini does have a stronger flavor than using, say, plain hummus as a non-dairy option or cream or milk, but depending on what you’re making, it could work well.
How to make this creamy vegan escarole and bean soup recipe:
Making this recipe is a breeze and best of all, you only really need 5 ingredients:
- Fennel bulb, with stalks and fronds
- Canned butter beans
In this recipe, fennel is used two ways, so be sure to find a bulb that has the stalks in tact. The bulb will be fried and charred in oil while the stalks and fronds will be used as a bright, lemony garnish.
Start by charring the fennel bulb. Next, add the butter beans along with water and plenty of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the chopped escarole and simmer for 10 more minutes.
As the soup simmers, whisk together juice from 1 lemon and tahini and let stand.
Then, prepare the garnish. Simply toss together thinly sliced fennel stalks along with a few pinches of the leafy fronds. Add juice and zest from the remaining lemon along with extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Once the soup finishes simmering, remove from the heat and let stand a few minutes before stirring in the tahini-lemon mixture. That’s it!
You can amp up the flavors with additional spices. Try this with dry thyme or rosemary. You could even use the za’atar spice blend in the broth.
Looking for more vegan recipes? Check my archives!
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Creamy Escarole and Bean Soup
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 fennel bulb with stalks and fronds
- 2 15- ounce cans of butter beans drained and rinsed
- 1 head of escarole roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 2 lemons divided
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the fennel:
- Cut the stalks from the fennel bulb. Halve the bulb and remove the core. Cut each half into thin wedges. Slice the stalks into very thin rounds. Transfer to a bowl with 6-7 pinches of the fennel fronds.
Char the fennel bulb:
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium heat Add the fennel wedges and cook for 5-7 minutes without turning or until the fennel turns deep golden brown. Flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Simmer the soup:
- Add the beans to the pot and add 6 cups of water. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Add crushed red pepper here, if you like. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Cook the escarole:
- Add the escarole to the soup and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
Prepare the tahini:
- In a bowl, whisk together tahini and juice from 1 lemon. Set aside.
Prepare fennel topping:
- To the bowl of sliced fennel stalks, add juice and zest from the remaining lemon. Add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Finish the soup:
- Remove the soup from the heat and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon tahini mixture. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and pile the fennel stalk garnish on top of each bowl. Enjoy!