Zuppa Toscana (Kale Soup)
Classic zuppa toscana soup! This version is the best I have ever had, even better than Olive Garden, and is sure to be a crowd pleaser!
I first made this soup after watching Katy on Livingmybeststyle blog post about it. I will be honest and say that I was skeptical at first because well ya know...it has kale in it. This is now one of my families favorite recipes. All the flavors of the Olive Garden Soup...creamy soup with potatoes, spicy Italian sausage, and KALE.
Zuppa toscana soup is made from crumbled Italian sausage, potatoes, kale, chicken broth, and cream. The combination is mouthwatering and warming on cool nights. What we love most about this soup is the spicy flavor and that you don't need a lot of ingredients to get such a rich flavor!
2LBS GROUND ITALIAN SAUSAGE (SOMETIMES WE USE SPICY ITALIAN)
2 DICED YELLOW ONIONS
4 TABLESPOONS OF BUTTER (I PREFER IRISH BUTTER)
6 PEELED & CHOPPED RUSSET POTATOES
1 CUP HALF & HALF
1 LARGE CHOPPED BUNCH OF KALE (USE FRESH / NOT FROZEN)
3 CARTONS OF CHICKEN BROTH (LARGE RECTANGLE BOXES)
1 CUP OF PASTA (ANY SHAPE YOU LIKE)
2 TABLESPOONS MINCED GARLIC (SQUEEZE GARLIC ALSO WORKS)
1 TABLESPOON DRIED BASIL
1 TABLESPOON DRIED OREGANO
1 TEASPOON RED CHILI FLAKES (USE MORE OR LESS DEPENDING ON SPICY LEVEL YOU PREFER)
1 TEASPOON ONION POWDER
1 TEASPOON GARLIC POWDER
SALT & PEPPER TO TASTE (I USUALLY DO THIS PER BOWL INSTEAD OF IN THE POT)
In a large pot brown the sausage and sauté onions together. Once sausage is mostly browned add minced garlic, all spices (red chili flakes, onion powder, dried basil, dried oregano, garlic powder), and butter. Once all ingredients have been throughly mixed, pour in all three cartons of chicken broth (this can be substituted for vegetable broth if necessary.) Turn burner down to simmer and let sit for 4-5 hours. This will allow the broth time to really soak up all of the spices. However, if you are running low on time skip allowing it to simmer for hours and move on to Step 2.
Add diced potatoes and half & half to the pot and mix together. Kale is a "hard" green and needs time to cook down. Just like spinach it will slowly disappear into the dish so don't be scared at the amount you are putting in. Chop up the kale and mix as much as possible into the soup. Replace lid and allow the kale to wilt a bit before attempting to stir again. Cook on a slow boil for 30 minutes. Once the kale has cooked down and the potatoes are done add pasta of your choice, I prefer a smaller shape like bowtie or ditalini. Cook until pasta is done. Top with fresh parmesan if desired!