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Zuppa Toscana

This kale dish is a hearty soup you may have enjoyed at an Italian restaurant. It has a touch of heat, some smoky sausage and bacon, tender potatoes and the star, kale. The broth is savory with a light touch of creaminess. Kale is healthy. It’s high in beta carotene, vitamin K and C, lutein and zeaxanthin. I can’t even pronounce some of those words let alone get my brain wrapped around what they do to promote good health. My daughter-in-law Sarah is a kale fan. She tells me it is one of the very best vegetables based on how many vitamins and stuff it’s loaded with. Her girls, my granddaughters, eat kale as a regular item on their menu and love it. You go girls!!!

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 40 Minutes | Yield: 10 cups | Difficulty: Easy

The Sauce
1 lb Country Sausage
4 slices diced Bacon
1 1/2 cups diced Onions
2 cloves Garlic, minced
8 cups Chicken Stock
2 large Russet Potatoes, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, then 1/4 inch slices
1/4 -1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
4 cups of bite-size Green or Red Kale, about 4 stalks
1/2 cup Half and Half
Salt and Pepper

Preparation Instructions
1.  Brown the sausage and bacon in the bottom of a large soup pot, about 8 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.  Drain most of the fat.

2.  Add the onions cooking until they are clear, about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook stirring for 1 minute.

3.  Pour in about 1 cup of the chicken stock and deglaze the pan then add the balance of the stock, the potatoes slices, red pepper and sausage/bacon mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

4.  Add the kale and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the Half and Half then salt and pepper to taste.  Ladle into soup bowls.

Dish Designer
• Exchange  country for Italian sausage, mild or hot as you like it but omit the water because it will cook in its own fat. If you use hot sausage you may omit the crushed red pepper.   And drain the excess fat before adding the onions.
• Exchange kale for Swiss chard.
• Exchange Half and Half with heavy cream for a richer soup base, or use milk for lighter soup base.
• Exchange bacon for Bacon Bits to reduce calories but add a little oil to sauté the onions. Add Bacon Bits with kale.
sauces over under and through

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2 Responses to Zuppa Toscana

  1. Audrey September 21, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    This soup was amazingly tasty. I could not believe how much I liked it.

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