Simple Zuppa Toscana (Italian Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup)

Ok I’m totally jumping on this opportunity, since it’s a cooler day today, to start my soup adventure with you! I absolutely love soups, I even eat soup when it’s warm =P. It’s just so comforting and tasty. This recipe is based on one of my all-time favorite soups, Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana. The original recipe actually is relatively light, but I adjusted a few ingredients to make it even healthier. Fingers crossed it stays pretty cool this week so you can enjoy this ASAP!

-Mel

Health tips: Low fat, heart healthy

Ingredients (About 8 servings)

  • 1 lb. spicy Italian turkey sausage (About 4 links; Spice is very mild in the soup, but if you prefer no spice at all, you can get the sweet Italian turkey sausage version)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium to large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 4 slices of pre-cooked bacon (These have lower sodium than uncooked.)
  • 10 cups (80 oz.) of low-sodium chicken broth (2 1/2 of 32 oz. boxes OR a little more than 1 1/2 of 48 oz. boxes)
  • 2 large russet potatoes (3-4 if they are smaller), cut into bite-size pieces, about 1/4″ thick (I leave the skin on for the nutrients)
  • 1 cup evaporated milk or half-and-half
  • 2 cups of kale (About a full bunch), cut along the spine and chopped
  • Optional:
    • Parmesan cheese for garnish
    • Toasted whole wheat sourdough with yogurt butter to eat and dip on the side =)
    • fb455d_6afbd5fdd7994a76899fcf14bad482b0.png_256Brummel-and-Brown

Steps

  1. Heat a large soup pot (Preferably a Dutch oven to get more browning of the meat) over medium-high heat with a small drizzle of olive oil (Turkey sausage has less fat to cook). Squeeze the sausage out of the casings and cook until browned and slightly crisp on the edges. If the pot is too crowded, brown in 2 batches. Break into pieces as it cooks through, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside.
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  3. If needed, add a bit more olive oil in the pot and saute the onions for a couple of minutes. Remember to scrape off the tasty brown meat bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the garlic after a couple of minutes (garlic cooks faster) and saute both until softened, about 5-10 minutes.
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  5. Meanwhile, heat the pre-cooked bacon in the microwave for about 1:10-1:20, until crispy. Crumble and add to the softened onions and garlic and mix.
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  7. Pour the chicken broth into the onion, garlic and bacon mixture. Liquid will deglaze the pot, scrape up any remaining brown bits from the bottom. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
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  10. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage; heat through. Season as needed.
  11. Mix the kale into the soup just before serving. Top with parmesan cheese if desired.
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