In my opinion one of the only good things about winter is hot chocolate and lots of yummy soups. This is definitely the season for soup. And especially since Mr. Groundhog saw his tiny little shadow it looks we will be making soup for another six weeks. Thank you Punxsutawney Phil.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we Texans don’t do cold. We simply do not know how to handle it. We ransack the stores to stock up on food, we cancel our schools for a little bit of ice on the road, we have the Red Cross at the ready and shelters open… and it’s only in the 30’s & 40’s. I’m sure all you Northerns probably get a kick out of us but hey, that’s Texas for ya!
But as long as I have a large pot of this Zuppa Toscana simmering on the stove I suppose it’s not so bad. This is a copy cat recipe for Olive Garden’s lovely soup… I swear it tastes just as good if not better. Hope it keeps ya warm! :)
Zuppa Toscana Soup -
(Recipe adapted from here)
This soup is flavorful, hearty, and creamy. Filled with bacon, Italian sausage, chunks of potatoes, onions, garlic, and kale (though I omitted the kale in mine). Serve it with some garlic bread and you have the perfect winter meal!
4 slices bacon, cut into a small dice
1 pound hot Italian sausage, ground or links with casings removed (I used breakfast sausage)
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups (32 ounces) chicken broth or stock
3 cups Russet potatoes, cubed
sea or kosher salt and fresh black pepper
2 loose packed cups kale, in bite size pieces
1 cup heavy cream or 14 ounce can evaporated milk
Parmesan cheese, grated, for serving
In a large soup pot or sauce pan cook bacon over medium until crispy. Add sausage and break it apart as it cooks. Once sausage is browned and crumbled drain off the grease leaving a tablespoon or two to sauté the onion.
Push the sausage to the edges of the pot and add onion to center - sauté until translucent then add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
Stir in broth and potatoes, season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, simmer for about 20 minute or until potatoes are tender.
Add kale and heavy cream or evaporated milk. Bring to a simmer. Taste and re-season as needed. Serve with Parmesan cheese and crusty bread.