February 19, 2013

Zuppa Toscana Soup

     Hello!  Today's recipe was passed along to me by a parent of one of my students and originated from the blog Two Peas & Their Pod (here).  While I've been to the Olive Garden too many times to count, I've never tried their Zuppa Toscana.  Aaron, on the other hand, has and says this recipe is WAY better than the O.G. (shh, don't tell them!).
     I will warn you... If you follow the recipe and add the 1 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes there's going to be some heat.  I'm talking burn your lips and tongue-reach for a glass of milk and a loaf of bread heat.  We cut back to 1/2 tsp of flakes and even then I thought it was a bit spicy.  Aaron did not.
     While the recipe doesn't specify, I'm not a fan of spicy or hot sausage so I opted to use sweet sausage.  Aaron didn't seem to mind the sweet and I thought it complemented the red pepper flakes perfectly.  The soup is hearty but not too thick and tastes great reheated, which is good because it makes big potful!

Zuppa Toscana Soup

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (use caution if you don't like heat)
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 large Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups kale, washed and roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a medium skillet, saute the sausage with the red pepper flakes.  Drain the excess fat, set aside.

2. In a large soup pot, sauté the bacon.  When the bacon is half way cooked, add the onions and garlic.  Sauté until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the chicken broth and water; bring to a boil.

4. Add the potatoes and cook until soft, 20-30 minutes.

5. Add the heavy cream and sausage and cook until the soup is heated through.

6. Stir in the chopped kale.  Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.  Enjoy!

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