Zuppa Toscana ~ Italian Sausage Soup ~ Like Olive Garden -ish


 
This soup is rich and warming - very filling too. It's sure to become a favorite in your home.


Olive Garden used to be a favorite place  when I was out shopping or whatever alone. I'd stop in and have soup, salad, & bread sticks. I always chose  Zuppa Toscana.
I had a doctor's appointment out-of-town last week, and we stopped at Olive Garden for dinner. I had zuppa for my starter. I realized it had been a couple of years since I had eaten there. It was good, but mine is way better. It's always nice when you elaborate on the inspiration.

Today the weather is snowy and cold, so I decided tonight was a good night for soup. Around here, my Zuppa Toscana is just called "your soup". Everyone loves it. They say "when are you making your soup", or "you should make your soup". Tonight I did :)
It's easy and makes a great meal.




     
  
Zuppa Toscana Recipe (Inspired by The Olive Garden) 

Ingredients: 

2 Tbs Olive Oil 
4 Cloves Garlic 
1/2  tsp. red pepper flakes 
1 med. Purple Onion diced 
4 slices of bacon chopped into small cubes
1 lb Italian Sausage (bulk or in casing) 
4 med.-lg. potatoes
2 cans Cannellini Beans ( white kidney)
48 oz Chicken Broth 
1 bunch Kale 
2 cup Heavy Whipping Creme or canned condensed milk
Parmesan cheese to finish   

Method: 

Heat olive oil on medium heat in stock pot.  
Peel and mince your garlic, add to pot.
Peel and dice onion, add to pot. 
Chop bacon into small pieces, add to pot. 
Allow these ingredients to cook well. Don't allow the garlic to burn, as it will become bitter. You want the onion to become transparent and the bacon to become a little crisp. 
Add red pepper flakes. 
Next, add Italian Sausage - if it's in casing, just remove. Use your spoon to break up sausage as it browns.
Peel and cube potatoes, add to pot.
Add both cans of beans - do not drain.  
Add broth. 
Cover the pot and allow this mixture to cook approximately 30 minutes. 
While that is cooking, rinse the Kale and remove the spine and stem which is fibrous. I do this with kitchen shears. Then chop into large, bite size pieces. Add to pot.
Cover and allow to cook approximately 20 minutes to allow greens to wilt and soften. Add heavy creme and cook for a few minutes more allowing the soup to heat once again. Serve with a nice bit of Parmesan cheese on top & your favorite loaf of bread. 

Enjoy!

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