Ok, I don’t know about you guys, but in my part of the world, winter took forever to show up. Then things warmed up and pollen began to fall and cover any and every thing. Now? We’re back to blustery winds and freezing temps. Not so great for my garden aspirations but awesome for my husband. One of his favorite dinners, is the copy cat olive garden zuppa toscana soup. It’s simple and quick. So, I thought I’d share with you guys, just in case your weather is crazy like ours!!
One thing, I love about this recipe is you can really eyeball it. Make it smaller or larger depending on your personal needs at the time. I have a large family, so I usually double the recipe and make it in a large stock pot.
- You’ll Need:
- 1 lb ground mild Italian sausage- (you can use spicy, if that’s more your style 😉)
- 8 slices bacon, (Crumbled, optional for topping)
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 32 oz chicken stock/broth
- 4 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced into evenly sized pieces.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Kale ( your preference as to how much)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Shredded parmesan cheese (optional for topping)
Who loves bacon, but hates frying it? This recipe calls for bacon to crumble across the top. Optional of course, but really delicious!! To avoid the hassle of popping bacon grease. I preheat my oven to 350° degrees, line my bacon in a skillet or baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. You can start your soup without having to watch and worry over the bacon. Just keep an eye on it and watch for it too turn crispy.😋
Now, to start this delicious soup!!
1.) Over medium heat, drizzle olive oil in the bottom of your stock pot/Dutch oven/etc. And let warm. (Or butter, whatever you have on hand.)
2.) Once oil is warm, add to the pot the Italian sausage and fry until done.
(While the sausage is browning, I use this time to chop my onions, potatoes, and garlic. I normally peel my potatoes, but today I didn’t. Just to save a little time. You can just slice them up or peel them, up to you.)
3.) When sausage is browned and cooked completely. Remove from the pot and sit aside, leaving the excess grease in the bottom of your pot.
4.) Add to the pot your onions and garlic and let cook to translucent in the excess grease from the sausage.
5.) When the onions are translucent and garlic is very fragrant, add your chicken stock/broth to the pot.
(You can add a little water, if you would like a little more liquid soup base or more chicken stock/broth.)
6.) Bring the stock/broth to a boil, and then add in your potatoes.
7.) Let potatoes cook until fork tender. I like to turn my heat down to a low simmer at this point, so the potatoes aren’t cooked to mush.
(DON’T FORGOT YOUR BACON IN THE OVEN) 😁😁
8.) Add your cream to the stock/broth and stir. Once, combined add the sausage back to the pot.
9.) Add a few handfuls of kale and allow them to simmer in the soup until tender. ( Some people like to de-stem their kale. I don’t mind the stems, if cooked until tender. But that is your preference.)
10.) Once kale is tender, ladle this yummy soup into a bowl and top with shredded Parmesan cheese and crumbled bacon!!