A Tasty Recipe to Try: Toasted Spelt Soup with Escarole & Beans

Toasted Spelt Soup, Escarole and White Bean Soup

At the start of each year, many of us commit to eating healthier. But what does that look like?

Instead of focusing on what type of diet to follow, focus on the quality of foods you select: unprocessed or minimally processed foods, colorful vegetables and fruit, and more plant protein. With whole grains, five different vegetables, a plant protein and a small amount of optional, but flavorful, meat this recipe from Leah Pryor, executive chef for UVM Medical Center, checks all the boxes!

Toasted Spelt Soup with Escarole and White Beans

Yield: 6 to 8 


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 ounces pancetta (optional), chopped, small cubes (Substitute: small amount of meat for flavor)
  • 1 cup spelt
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, cored, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 12 cups chicken stock
  • ½ head escarole, rough chop
  • 1 can (15 ounces) white beans
  • Shaved parmesan for garnish


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot.
  2. If using, add pancetta and cook about 3 minutes, stirring often, until pancetta is golden brown.
  3. Add spelt and cook about 3 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add onions, celery, fennel and carrots to pot. Cook until vegetables are softened, 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Add tomato paste.
  6. Add chicken stock to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 60 minutes or until spelt is tender.
  7. Stir escarole and white beans into soup and cook until escarole is wilted.
  8. Serve soup with a drizzle of olive oil and shaved parmesan.

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