I hereby declare that soup season is here. Well, not really, but it’s mid-September so it has to be close, no?! I love making homemade soup over lazy weekends this time of year. They are so comforting and make you feel all nice and cozy.
I’ve been hearing about Zuppa Toscana for years now from people all over, but I never really knew what it was. Zuppa Toscana is actually just a broad term for Tuscan soup and usually contains veggies like kale, beans, zucchini, and potatoes. Zuppa Toscana has become popular here in the United States thanks to the Olive Garden which is how many of you may be familiar with it. To be honest though, I haven’t been to the OG in many years and have never had their Zuppa Toscana, but it sounded pretty good so I wanted to make my own version at home!
This version contains ground sausage, potatoes, and kale. You can certainly add in cannellini beans or other veggies if you desire. I’m fairly certain the OG version also contains a good amount of heavy cream, but this recipe only uses skim milk and a touch of half and half. A bit of flour also thickens it a bit. Then there’s the bacon. Obviously, you want to add the bacon on top because…bacon. But, hey, at least there is kale too!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 small yellow onion
- 1 pound mild ground sausage
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup half and half (or heavy cream)
- 2 cups kale, stems removed and chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
- In large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the sausage. Cook until the sausage is browned, breaking it up with a spatula as it cooks until lightly browned, about 7-8 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Let cook for about 3 minutes and then pour in the broth. Let the soup simmer for about 5 minutes. Whisk together the flour and milk and pour into the soup. Lower the heat to medium low. Let the soup simmer for another 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes are just fork tender and the soup has thickened.
- Stir in the half and half and the kale. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let the soup sit for about 5 more minutes until the kale is wilted. Spoon into bowls and garnish with some of the crumbled bacon and grated Parmesan cheese. Serve.