Fresh, crunchy bread crumbs add contrast to this light soup that eats like a hearty meal. Use another type of canned bean if that’s all you have and also feel free to switch the escarole for your favorite green, like Swiss chard or kale.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the chile flakes and garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the tomatoes and their juice and another large pinch of salt and cook, uncovered and lightly mashing the tomatoes as they cook, until they break down and get thick, about 5 minutes.
Rinse out the tomato can with about ¼ cup of water and add to the pot along with the chicken broth, chickpeas, potatoes and the rind from the wedge of Parmesan. Season with another generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the escarole, season with salt and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until golden but not burned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with bread crumbs, lots of grated Parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and some parsley, if using.
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