Rita's Zuppa Toscana like Olive Garden
You can use sweet Italian sausage and add red pepper flakes to taste if you want. Note the dry mashed potato flakes in the recipe. I use these as a thickener and nutrient booster in this type of soup, or any creamy soup.
It's my secret ingredient to thick & rich soups.
This is a to taste recipe. Hard to measure exactly.
1 pound hot Italian sausage
8-12 slices bacon, cut up into 1/2" pieces (I used thick sliced)
1 large onion, diced (a good 2 cups)
1 heaping tablespoon garlic, minced
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
4-5 generous cups diced potatoes, peeled or not
As much kale as you like (I used several handfuls chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste
Dry mashed potato flakes (optional)
Parmesan cheese for garnish
Cook sausage until done. Drain and set aside. In same pot, cook bacon and leave drippings. Cook onion garlic in the drippings until onions are translucent. This won't take long. Add back sausage and bacon. Add broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil, lower to a gentle boil and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Stir in cream and heat through. Stir in kale and cook a bit. Adjust seasonings. If you think the soup is too thin, start adding a little bit of dry mashed potato flakes. Sprinkle with cheese and serve. Serves 8-10.
Tip from Rita's garden: good for you kale
Kale is nutrient dense with lots of fiber, calcium, iron and vitamins.
Lacinato or alligator kale as the kids call it, is more mild in flavor than regular kale.