Rita’s Zuppa Toscana Recipe (like Olive Garden)
This one is good for you! Kale is nutrient dense with lots of fiber, calcium, iron, and vitamins. Lacinato, or “alligator kale” as my kids called it, is more mild in flavor than regular kale, but what is in season will be perfect. Potatoes contain vitamin C, good for immune system health. Garlic and onions are heart healthy additions to this soup.
You can use sweet Italian sausage and add red pepper flakes to taste if you want. Note the dry mashed potato flakes in the recipe. I use these as a thickener and nutrient booster in this type of soup, or any creamy soup. It’s my secret ingredient to thick and rich soups. This is a to-taste recipe. Hard to measure exactly.
• 1 pound hot Italian sausage
• 8-12 slices bacon, cut up into 1/2′′ pieces (I use thick sliced)
• 1 large onion, diced (a good 2 cups)
• 1 heaping tablespoon garlic, minced
• 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
• 5 generous cups sliced potatoes, peeled or not
• 1 cup whipping cream or half & half
• Kale, as much as you like (I used several handfuls, chopped)
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Dry mashed potato flakes (optional)
• Parmesan cheese for garnish
• Cook sausage until done. Drain and set aside.
• In same pot, cook bacon and leave drippings.
• Cook onion and garlic in the drippings until onions are translucent. This won’t take long.
• Add back sausage and bacon.
• Add broth and potatoes.
• Bring to a boil, lower to a gentle boil and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
• Stir in cream and heat through.
• Stir in kale and cook a bit.
• Adjust seasonings.
• If you think the soup is too thin, start adding a little bit of dry mashed potato flakes.
• Sprinkle with cheese and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Rita Nader Heikenfeld, CCP, CMH. See more recipes at her website.