This recipe was created after eating at the Olive Garden. I liked the taste but something was missing so off to the kitchen I went with pen and paper in hand to create my own version. After several attempts to create my version I came up with a recipe where the vegetables were firm and not mushy. The overall taste was good but the soup base was watery and detracted from the final presentation. Puréeing some of the potato and adding cornstarch if needed seemed to elevate this issue. Giving samples to unwary people and serving this as a course during a meal brought a ranges of critique. I decided it was a keeper.
Zuppa Toscana
1 pound mild or hot Italian sausage links
1-2 pounds Russet or Yukon gold potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes
1 pound smoked sausage (Optional)
2 large onions roughly diced
2-4 cloves garlic pressed or minced.
2 C kale or Swiss chard chopped
2 14.5 ounce cans low sodium chicken broth (Can also use homemade)
1 quart water
1/2 pound thick sliced quality bacon
1/8 - 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 C heavy cream
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
Bake or grill sausage until done. Set aside until cool enough to slice. You may also bake or grill the beacon.
Add unsalted butter to stock pot over medium high heat until bubbles stop. Add onions and kale or Swiss chard, sauté onions until translucent. Add the flour and mix well. Add the water and chicken broth to the pot and mix well. Bring the mixture to a quick boil. In the meantime, chop the bacon and slice the sausages. Set aside. Add potatoes and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook potatoes until tender but not soft. When potatoes are done remove a portion and purée them or lightly mas or use a stick blender. If pureeing, add the purée back to the pot and stir to mix well. If further thickening is desired, add a mixture of cornstarch and chicken broth or flour to the mixture until the desired thickness is reached. Add sausage, heavy cream and a portion of the bacon to the soup and heat through. Serve immediately with oyster crackers or chunks of sour dough bread. Use the remainder of the bacon if desired, for a garnish.

Servings: 8

Nutritional information per serving

No nutrition information available

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