I saw this in a recent issue of the magazine and decided to try it. I'm so glad that I did. I used kale instead of the escarole because that was what they had at the market. Like another reviewer, I liked having the beans rather than the noodles. It seems healthier that way. It wasn't too salty like some other soups I've had recently. Don't leave out the fennel seeds. They are the key to those meatballs. I liked it so much, I actually had leftovers for breakfast this morning!