Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan Soup) is one of the best recipes for soup that I’ve ever eaten. Ever. The ingredients are simple enough~ and there’s nothing fancy about the way you cook them. But when they come together magic happens in your mouth. Even thinking about it now causes some cravings; I’m probably going to have to make up another batch after I write this post!
This recipe originated from ‘The Olive Garden’ restaurant. It was so popular people started to experiment at home to see if they could come close to cooking up a batch that tasted like the original. In doing research for this recipe, I came across a few variations. This one I’m sharing with you in my opinion, is the most accurate.
The ingredients for this soup are simple, yet lovely together. Italian sausage, bacon and minced onion are sauteed and combined with chicken stock, potato slices, coarsely chopped kale and cream (half and half). I will admit: I don’t eat kale very often, but this is one recipe that it is perfect for. Don’t leave it out! All these flavors combine to create a savory and flavorful soup that you just can’t get enough of. Seriously.
Whew. I’ll get of my soap box now :0)
Yield 8 servings
Super delicious soup made with Italian sausage, Kale, potato, chicken broth and cheese. Tastes just like the real deal at the restaurant!
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 pound Italian sausage, hot or mild
- 4 oz bacon, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 small onion, minced
- 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 medium russet potatoes, skins washed
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- salt and fresh ground pepper
- 2 1/2 cups half and half
- 1 cup packed kale chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 cup finely shredded Romano cheese for serving
- Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Crumble sausage (remove casings) and cook, breaking large clumps apart, until sausage is fully cooked and browned. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate or bowl. Remove all but 1 teaspoon fat from the pan.
- Add diced bacon and saute for about 5 minutes. Add onion and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Saute until the bacon is cooked through (not crunchy) and onions are soft, about 5 minutes more.
- While the sausage and bacon cook, slice the potatoes lengthwise, and slice each half lengthwise again. Slice each portion crosswise into thin slices approximately 1/8 inch thick and set aside.
- Add the chicken broth, water, sliced potatoes, sausage, kale, sugar, salt and pepper to the bacon/onion mixture. Bring soup just to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender. Remove excess fat from the surface with a large spoon or ladle. Stir in the half and half. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of cheese over individual servings. Garnish with seasoned croutons if desired and serve.
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