Monday, November 17, 2014

Zuppa That Toscana

What?  Two recipe posts in a row??  Since when do I do that?  Oh yeah, when I remember to take pictures as I go.  I've varied this recipe both times I've made it, but the results are pretty much the same.  When I can't go to Olive Garden, I make this soup.  Plus, it's Tj's favorite.  Ok, second favorite.  His dad makes this soup which I want to call "12 Day Soup", because you have to chop each vegetable into these tiny little squares and it seems like the chopping takes 12 days.

Here's what you need:
  • a package of Italian Sausage - I used Johnsonville mild Italian, with 5 links. 
  • 4-6 Russet potatoes
  • one large yellow onion
  • two cloves of garlic
  • 3 slices of bacon, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 32 oz chicken stock
  • 1/2 bag of kale - I used mixed kale, spinach and chard
Remove the sausage from the casings.  I just take a paring knife, slice down the skin and peel it off and throw it into a hot skillet, crumbling as you go.

While it's browning, chop up your bacon, onion and garlic.  Once your meat is brown, remove it from the pan and throw in the bacon, onion and garlic into the skillet.  Sautee until everything is tender.

In a big pot, pour in your chicken stock and then I also added another cup of water.  Bring it to a boil.  While the stock is coming to a boil, I used my mandolin on the middle setting and sliced the washed potatoes.

  When you've reached the boiling stage, throw EVERYTHING you've cooked into the pot.  At this point, I tasted my broth and added some crushed red pepper, some Italian seasoning and a bay leaf, but you may not think it needs anything.  Cook until your potatoes get tender.  Mine were sliced pretty thin so it only took 15 minutes.  I then add in the cream and stir.  Now, here's the thing.  The first time I made the soup, I rinsed my sausage after it was browned to rinse off all the grease.  I really hate seeing the oil floating at the top of the pot.  I forgot this step this time around.  I let the pot sit still for a minute and then took a regular piece of white bread and swam it around the top of the soup to absorb some of the grease.  Turn the heat off, and gently stir in the kale.  Put in a bowl and eat like crazy!


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