Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Zuppa Toscana

I borrowed this recipe from the blog of my good friend Christie.  My husband has always LOVED this soup from the Olive Garden and I've had intentions of finding a way to make it at home.  This was perfect, absolutely delicious!  In addition, it is really quite simple to make and the ingredients are low in number (though I have to admit I had never cooked with kale before).  Speaking of kale, I still have 1/2 a bunch of this spinach/lettuce/broccoli hybrid-like veggie remaining....any suggestions on how to use it?

5 c. chicken stock
1/2 lb. bulk Italian sausage
2 medium potatoes (sliced thin)
2 c. chopped kale
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 pint cream
salt and pepper to taste

Brown the sausage in a soup pot with a little olive oil. Add stock, potatoes, kale, red pepper, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes and kale are tender. Add the cream and let the soup simmer on low for 30+ minutes. Top with parmesan cheese.  Serve with breadsticks and salad.

*Just a few comments.  I used a combination of chicken broth and a chicken bullion cube with extra water.  It was great and I'm sure either would work on their own.  I used mild Italian sausage and with the red pepper flakes, it still had a nice spicey flavor, but I wouldn't mind trying hot Italian sausage.  This made more than I was expecting--would easily feed 4 to 6 hearty eaters.  So good, thank you, Christie!

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