While most people lament the arrival of cooler temps in the waning days of summer and early days of fall, I couldn’t WAIT to unearth and dust off my collection of soup recipes this week. After three wonderful – but very hot – years in southern California, Germany’s crisp mornings, drippy afternoons, and windy evenings are utter perfection in my book. Soup weather, how I’ve missed thee!
I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for Zuppa Toscana F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Oh my goodness – it did not disappoint! This is quite simply one of the best soups I’ve ever eaten. The combination of spicy Italian sausage, melt-in-your-mouth potatoes and slightly crisp kale is heavenly. And the broth – oh, the broth! Perfection! My husband and I intended to eat this as leftovers over the course of a few days, but alas, it did not see a second day. Yep, we ate all 12 servings. Two people. In one day. We’re still sad it’s gone, and speak of it fondly. It is that good.
Enjoy, and you’re welcome!
Yields | 12 servings
Inspiration | Olive Garden & Food.com
- 1 lb ground mild or hot Italian sausage
- 4-6 Russett potatoes, diced
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 slices raw bacon, snipped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 8 cups water
- 7 tsp Better than Bouillon chicken base
- 1 bunch fresh kale, stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Shredded Parmesan cheese (optional), to serve
- In a large pot on medium-high heat add the ground sausage and crushed red pepper flakes. Using a wooden spoon, break up the sausage until it is browned and fully cooked through. Pour the cooked sausage into a large bowl and set aside.
- In the same pot add the olive oil, chopped onion, and bacon until the onions become translucent and begin to brown (about 10 minutes). Add garlic and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
- Add wine to the pot and stir well to de-glaze. Combine water and Better than Bouillon chicken base, mix well, and add to the pot.
- Add potatoes and cook until fork tender, approximately 20 minutes. (Note: You may wish to add more salt, but be careful – the chicken base is very salty. Taste for saltiness after each addition.)
- After the potatoes are done, add the cooked sausage back into the soup. Using a large spoon, skim off most of the fat from the sausage that floats onto the surface.
- Add the fresh kale and stir in to allow the leaves to soften slightly. Reduce the heat to low and add the heavy cream. Stir.
- Add freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
- Garnish each serving with shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired.
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