Last week I enjoyed kale for the first time. Yeah, yeah, I’m late to the trend. I did attempt kale chips at one point and the result was very… kale-y. Gross. So I realized when I put them into this amazing recipe a week or so ago that it just kind of ends up tasting like spinach, or a yummy green. Not too strong, not too mushy, just good. So this past week I bought the bag of pre-washed and torn kale from Trader Joe’s. You know, the bag that looks like a decent amount of kale until you reach in and pull out a massive handful and then it magically re-fills itself? So, we’ve now arrived at this recipe. The reason for the Zuppa Toscana. Which by the way means “Tuscan Soup”. You’re welcome.
So in my mind I was choosing a recipe that would use up that massive bag of kale. Not so much. See above, the massive handful explanation. Regardless, this soup was bomb. I had mentioned to Jason (husband…did I introduce you to him yet?) that I had plans for a sausage and potato soup and he was not on board. Here’s why: he’s never had the Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden. It’s a good thing we’re already married…that may have been a deal-breaker.
This soup is creamy without being so thick and fattening, and it’s chocked full of flavor without really adding any seasonings. Honestly, even though there’s a little half and half in it, I’d say it’s pretty healthy. I drained most of the sausage grease, it’s mostly chicken broth, and let’s not forget about that massive handful of kale.
Zuppa Toscana enough for two people for several days
*Disclaimer: this was a very thrown together soup-the goal was to use up what I had in the fridge, so just know that with soup you can kind of measure as you go. If you want it to have more sausage, add more sausage, if you want it thicker, use less chicken broth, and so on.
4 sweet Italian sausage links, casing removed and browned
1 russet potato, washed and cut into 1″ cubes
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced or finely grated
1 tablespoon flour
1 big handful of kale, pre-washed and torn into pieces
1 carton chicken broth (or in my case, almost a full carton + 1 cup water)
1/4-1/2 cup half and half
1/4-1/2 cup shredded parmesan
salt and pepper
Remove sausage from their casings and brown in a large stock pot over medium heat. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Add onion and cook until soft, add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add flour and stir to evenly coat. Brown for a few minutes and then add chicken broth, stirring to avoid clumping.
Throw in kale and potatoes, salt and pepper, and cover with a lid. Let cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes on low-medium heat.
When potatoes are cooked, remove lid and stir in half and half and parmesan. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve with freshly grated parmesan.