Friday, March 15, 2013

Zuppa Toscana

I originally found this recipe on Pintrest from the blog Mom on Time out.  Credit where it's due!!

I adjusted the recipe (not on purpose...) and ended up loving my version, but it came out a different consistency more like a thick potato soup.

 I'm still going to try doing it with the water... I live for this soup! 
Anyways... here is the original recipe, and I'll put in bold my big huge mistake that ended up being a great one!  See, things gone somewhat wrong can end up being the best things ever!
You will need...
1 lb Italian Sausage (spicy if you prefer more heat)
5-7 slices of bacon
5 medium russet potatoes
2 c kale, chopped
1 c heavy whipping cream
1 qt water
2 cans of chicken broth
1/2 large onion
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
Get it done...
Crumble the sausage onto a baking sheet. Bake the sausage in the oven at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes or until no longer pink. Place on paper towels to drain. 
I cooked my ground sausage in a pan, quicker & no oven heat up!
Cook the bacon and crumble into small pieces. I baked my bacon. Slice the potatoes between 1/8? and 1/4?. I used the thick setting on my mandolin. Just make the slices about the same size so they cook evenly. Dice up the onion and mince the garlic. Throw the potatoes, onion, garlic, chicken broth, and water into a large pot on medium heat until the potatoes are cooked through.
I went with REAL bacon bits from the salad toppings section of Fry's.  Oh, and small thing... TOTALLY SPACED putting in the 1 quart of water... no biggie.
Prepare the kale by chopping into bite sized pieces. Kale is wonderful for soups because it holds up to the heat so well. It’s also delicious! Add the sausage, bacon, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Amazingly, I got all of this right...
During this time the potatoes will start breaking apart into smaller bite sized pieces because they are so tender. Turn the heat to low and add in the kale and heavy cream. Let the soup heat through and serve. We like to serve this soup with some grated Parmesan cheese on top.
At this point I couldn't figure out why my soup was more of a mush... but it didn't matter... it was so delicious I was burning the roof of my mouth eating it out of the pot.  Ehh, please don't tell my guests that last part!
Anyways, everyone raved.  Maybe because I had an almost five month old baby on my lap... but you know, I'll take it where I can get it!  This is going to become a total staple in our house from here on out!  I served it with plain baked chicken (got that oven on after all), and a spinach salad with almonds and strawberries.