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Creamy Kale & Sausage Soup ("Zuppa Toscana")

 creamy kale & sausage soup | hello, sweetie!

Honest to goodness, this soup tastes just like the "Zuppa Toscana" from Olive Garden.  It's not heavy or thick like a cream soup normally is since it's mostly broth based.  The cream is added just before serving, giving it a silken texture.  Big chunks of crumbled Italian sausage and diced white potatoes make this meal hearty enough to stand on its own but the kale adds a slightly crunchy texture, loads of vitamins and visual freshness.  You can adjust the heat with the amount of red pepper flakes, but the spicy finish adds a nice contrast, so don't leave it out entirely. 

 creamy kale and sausage soup | hello, sweetie!

creamy kale and sausage soup | hello, sweetie!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 pound mild Italian Sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Better then Bouillon chicken base*
  • 8 cups water
  • 3 medium sized white potatoes, diced
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1/2-3/4 cups heavy cream

Directions: 

If using links, remove the casing from the sausages.  In a large stockpot, brown the sausage then remove with a slotted spoon, reserving liquid and fat, and set aside.  In the same stockpot, sauté onions over medium heat for about 3 minutes until tender.  Add salt, pepper and garlic and sauté another minute, until fragrant.  Add water, chicken base, red pepper flakes and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Add kale and sausages to soup, simmering for about 4-5 minutes. Next add the cream, serving when just heated through but do not boil.  Add more salt and pepper to taste. Makes approximately 6 large servings.

If you want to make this a vegetarian meal, use a 12 ounce container (or more if you prefer) of sliced baby Bella mushroom in place of the sausage and cook in 2 Tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes  Add the onion and cook until tender and translucent.  Stir in 6 cups vegetable broth and 2 cups water.  Proceed with directions above, omitting cream if desired.

*If you can't find the chicken paste, you can always use 6 cups of chicken broth plus 2 cups water instead of the 8 cups water and chicken base. 

 

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