Zuppa Toscana

This is my favorite soup! It’s a very close match to the Olive Garden original- so close that I won’t order it there anymore. I love the spiciness of the sausage and red pepper. Great on a cold day, or really any day, especially with some crusty bread and/or oyster crackers. Make sure to salt generously for full flavor. And NEVER use the prepackaged kale or powdered/concentrated broth. It WILL ruin it. Every time.
Original recipe from food.com. Heavily modified.
1 lb spicy Italian sausage
3 thick slices bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed & minced
crushed red pepper, to taste
2 32-oz. containers chicken broth (or 1 container chicken stock + ~32 oz. water)
5-6 red potatoes, unpeeled
1 bunch kale, chopped
1/2-1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
1. Brown sausage in soup pot. Remove from pan with slotted spoon.
2. Cook bacon in soup pot. Remove from pan & drain on paper towels.
3. Add onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper to soup pot. Cook until onions are soft.
4. Add chicken stock to pot. Bring to a boil.
5. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise, then slice into uniform thin slices. Add to pot. Return bacon & sausage to pot.
6. Cook until potatoes are tender (20-30 minutes).
7. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
8. Remove from heat. Stir in cream and kale and cover until kale wilts.
9. Devour. Reheats well.

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