Italian White Bean, Escarole, and Kale Soup with Halibut Meatballs

* In the absence of halibut, any firm white fish will do, tilapia, cod, grouper to name a few.
* Use fresh herbs if possible, it really makes a difference.
* Both the soup and the meatballs can be made ahead of time. The meatballs can even be cooked and frozen ahead of time.
* Fish meatballs can be an appetizer, served over a tossed salad, or as a main coarse over pasta with sauce.



* 1 pound white beans
* 7 quarts water
* 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 3/4 cup celery, chopped
* 11/2 cups carrots. diced
* 2 cups sweet onion, diced
* 2 cups orange or red pepper, chopped
* 1/4 cup garlic, chopped
* 8 cups kale leaves, torn off rib and soaked until clean
* 8 cups escarole, roughly chopped and soaked until clean
* 2 cups tomatoes, diced
* 1 tablespoon tomato paste
* 3 tablespoons kosher salt
* 1 tablespoon black pepper
* 2 bay leaves


* 2 1/2 pounds halibut, skinned
* 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
* 2 teaspoons fresh oregano
* 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
* 2 tablespoons dry parsley
* 1 tablespoon kosher salt
* 1 tablespoon black pepper
* 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
* 1/2 cup onion, chopped
* 1/2 cup red or yellow pepper
* 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped



* Pulse halibut in food processor, medium chop. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl except panko crumbs. Mix well by hand. Add panko last and mix throughly. Form into meatballs about 1 ounce each(size of a ping pong ball).
* Saute in canola oil until browned about 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.


* Cook beans in water with bay leaves until tender. Maintain water level. When beans are tender set pot aside.
* Saute in olive oil, onions, garlic, peppers,carrots, and celery until tender about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, salt and pepper. Combine well, add to soup pot. Discard bay leaves.
* Bring beans to a boil, lower temperature and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes. Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary.
* Add escarole and kale continue cooking 10 minutes. Add meatballs continue cooking 8 to10 more minutes.
* Serves 10 to 12 people. Cut recipe in half for less or freeze extra soup for another day. Enjoy!

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