Escarole and white bean soup

Another recipe from Ad Hoc with a few minor changes.  It is another winner. 

2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced leeks
2 cups diced Spanish onions
canola oil
1 smoked ham hock
8 cups chicken stock
2 heads of escarole
7 cups white beans ( I used canned )
red wine vinegar

Use a large 8-10 quart stock pot.  Cover the bottom of the stock pot with the canola oil.  Once it is heated, add the carrots, leeks and onions with a nice pinch of kosher salt.  Mix this up and put a piece of parchment over the top of the pot and simmer.  Let this hang out for about 30-35 minutes. 

After the vegetables are done, add chicken stock and ham hock.  Bring this boil, and then bring down to simmer and let it hang out for about an hour.  Once the hour is over, take out the ham hock.

In the meantime, bring a big pot of salted water to boil.  Cut up the escarole into thirds (cross wise and get rid of the head/core) and really clean it.  You are going to blanch the escarole and immediately put it into a large bath of ice water.  I put the ice water bowl next to the pot where I was blanching the escarole.  I used tongs and after putting the escarole in the hot water for about 30 seconds, I picked it up with the tongs and doused it in the ice water.  After I was done with both heads, I drained the ice water in a colander.  Then, in batches, I put the escarole in a salad spinner to get rid of all the excess water.  A few necessary steps.

Now you have the escarole and the stock ready.  Add 7 cups of white beans to the soup, mix, season.  Add a few shots of red wine vinegar for taste.  Add the escarole and serve.