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.
- 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
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.