This soup is similar to the Zuppa Toscana served at Olive Garden but is so much better prepared at home with much less salt. The kale is delicious in this soup so feel free to add even more if you want and don’t overcook it, just let it lightly wilt. I serve this recipe with some fresh french bread and/or salad. Enjoy!
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil to fry the bacon + 1 teaspoon olive oil to brown the Italian sausage
- 4 strips bacon + reserved bacon fat
- 3 large russet potatoes sliced ¼ inches thick
- ½ Vidalia onion finely diced
- ¾ pound Italian sausage
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried fennel
- 1/2 tablespoon light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 bunches of lacinato kale or swiss chard roughly chopped
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
1. Add 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil to a medium-sized skillet and fry the bacon until very crispy. When the bacon has finished cooking, finely chop the bacon and set it aside. Reserve the bacon fat.
2. Add 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat to a large stockpot and turn the heat to medium. Add the sliced russet potatoes and Vidalia onion. Sauté the potatoes and onion until the potatoes are slightly browned and the onion is translucent.
3. In a medium-sized skillet add 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil and sauté the Italian sausage over medium heat. Add the dried basil, dried fennel, light brown sugar, and dried oregano. Sauté the spices with the sausage. Once the sausage has browned, drain the fat and add the sausage to the stockpot containing the potatoes and onion.
4. Over medium heat, add 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth and red pepper flakes to the stockpot and bring the soup to a simmer. Add the garlic powder and simmer the soup until the potatoes are fork-tender.
5. Add the kale to the soup and lightly simmer it for 1 minute to wilt the kale (it should still be bright green).
6. Turn the heat to low and add the heavy whipping cream. Lightly warm the soup.
7. Add salt and pepper to taste and freshly grated parmesan cheese