Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Zuppa Toscana

With all this chilly weather we have been having, there can never be too many bowls filled to the brim with warm, comforting soup.  At least that's my excuse for sharing yet another delicious soup recipe.  And another restaurant favorite.

Everyone and their mother has probably dined at that certain ubiquitous Italian chain restaurant famous for their unlimited soup, salad, and bread sticks lunch.  To most people, the menu at this particular chain features some fairly mediocre Italian food (well, everyone except Marilyn Haggerty) - nothing horrible, but certainly nothing too impressive or spectacular.

However, there is one soup that I love eating whenever I happen to dine there: the Zuppa Toscana.  My Mom and I like to fill up on soup and salad when we go out together for lunch, and though the restaurant offers 4-5 other varieties of soup, I find myself ordering bowl after bowl of this awesome sausage and potato soup.  It is so simple, yet so satisfying and warming.  There are a ton of copycat recipes available on the internet for this soup (apparently I am not the only one who things it is awesome!) but this is the version I like best.  The original recipe calls for the addition of bacon, but I find it unnecessary because the bacon flavor really gets overwhelmed by the sausage.  Plus, I really do not see the need to incorporate two types of fatty pork into one dish.

This recipe makes a lot of soup!  Which really is great because you will go back for bowl after bowl!

Zuppa Toscana
Inspired by Olive Garden

1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 (13.75 ounce) cans chicken broth
3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup half-and-half or cream
1/4 bunch kale, coarsley chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook the Italian sausage, red pepper flakes, and a couple tablespoons of water in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, about 10-15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Add the onions and garlic the the same Dutch oven and cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Pour the chicken broth into the Dutch oven with the onion mixture, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and continue to simmer/boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the half-n-half or cream and the cooked sausage; heat through. Adjust seasonings to taste.  Mix the kale into the soup just before serving.

1 comment:

  1. I will definitely make this soup this coming week.I am so glad you made and posted this because you read my mind! I have been craving this! And perhaps missing you just a little too.
    Nice post about Paul. I whole heartedly agree that he is the absolute best!!