Tammie King's 5 Star Zuppa Toscana
Today I have a wonderful hearty soup to share with you. I oftentimes have a bowl of this and then settle in for a few hours of reading. I've been making this for many years and my family loves it. I hope it becomes a favorite of yours and your family.
1lb Spicy or Mild Italian Sausage (spice it up based to your liking)
1 1/2 teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large White or Yellow Onion - Chopped Square - 1/2 inch
3 Strips of Bacon - Chopped Up
2 Big Garlic Cloves - Minced
2 Cups Water
3 Tablespoons Better Than Bouillon - Roasted Chicken Base - Reduced Sodium
1 Teaspoon Salt
4 Cups Russet Potatoes Cleaned (skin on) - Chopped - 1 Inch x 1 Inch Bite Size Pieces
8 Cups Water
1 Bunch Fresh Kale - Taken off the stem, cleaned and Torn into 2 x 2 inch pieces
1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
Check Costco for Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Better Than Bouillon - Roasted Chicken Base - Reduced Sodium - These three items come in a nice size and have a great price. Prices and sizes might change. The current 2018 values are wonderful on these bulk items.
8 Quart or Larger Stock Pot, Cutting Boards, Knives, Spatula, Measuring Spoons, Measuring Cups, Ladle, Large Long Handled - Soup Spoon
Onion: Chop into 1/2 inch squares
Kale: tear leaves off the stem. Clean in cold water. Tear into 2 x 2 inch pieces
Potatoes: Clean, Dry and then Cut up into 1 Inch x 1 Inch Bite Size Pieces
Bacon: Chop into 1/2 inch squares (put into refrigerator)
Set items to the side for later
Lets Get Cooking!
In your 8 quart stock pot add:
Italian Sausage & Crushed Red Pepper Flakes. Cook on Medium-High. Break the meat up and cook till there is no pink. Pieces should be small. Once cooked put into a bowl and set to the side. You will add this into the soup near the end.
Don't clean your stock pot! Put it back on the stove for the next step.
In your already used 8 quart stock pot add:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Onion & Bacon
Cook on Medium-High until the onions are translucent and the bacon is done. Keep moving it around every 30 seconds or so. You don't want it to burn.
Once onion is translucent add in the garlic and stir. Cook for another 3 minutes.
Add in 2 cups water and stir.
Add in 3 Tablespoons Better Than Bouillon - Roasted Chicken Base - Reduced Sodium
Add in 1 Teaspoon Salt and stir the pot. Cook on high for 3 minutes.
Add in 8 Cups Water
Slowly Add in the potatoes. Be careful of the hot water splashing up. I use a large ladle and spoon the potatoes into the bottom of the post.
Bring the pot to a boil on high. Cook for around 10 minutes until you can easily stick a fork all the way through a potato.
Add back in the sausage you put to the side. Stir the pot. Cook for another 3 minutes while it boils.
Dump the Kale on top and push it down into the boiling water. Make sure it all gets submerged. Boil for 3 more minutes.
Turn your burner down to Medium and add in the cream. Stir
Your soup is now done. Give it a couple hours to settle and all the spices to do their work. You can eat it now, but it's the best later. After our family has their first bowl I normally put it into the fridge for later.
This soup is great heated up.
Just ladle a couple cups into a bowl and microwave for around 3 minutes. The time will vary based on your bowl size and microwave settings. We've found it tastes best within the first three days.