Monday, February 4, 2013

Zuppa Toscana

In just a few short weeks spring will be in the air here in East Texas and that means I have a small window of opportunity remaining in which to savour my favorite soups and dream up a few new ones too. Spring is the most beautiful time of year here, even if it does arrive waayyy to early for my taste. Last week I whipped up a standard favorite, Chicken Tortilla Soup, and attempted a new one - my version of this Zuppa Toscana. Sometimes found on the menu at Italian restaurants, this spicy sausage soup is sure to have a reoccurring spot on our menu, despite the fact it's a little too spicy for my little guys - resulting in a need for a second option to satisfy their appetites - but Zuppa Toscana is worth it nonetheless.

Zuppa Toscana

2 lbs. ground italian sausage (I used 1 lb. hot and 1 lb. mild)
1 Tbs. olive oil
4 white onions diced
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
5 cans chicken broth
3 cups heavy cream
8 cups potatoes, cubed with skins left on
1-2 bunches kale, chopped (greens only, discard center stalks)
1 bunch italian parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh grated parmesan

Saute sausage in the bottom of a large stock pot. Drain the fat and set aside. In the bottom of the same pot, add 1 Tbs. olive oil and sauté onions, garlic and potatoes until onions are soft. Add chicken stock and chopped bacon; bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Turn off heat and immediately add kale, sausage, heavy cream, parmesan, and parsley. Stir together - serve hot with some with thick slices of toasted italian bread. Enjoy!

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