One of my husband’s favorite soups is from a big chain restaurant, Olive Garden. Whenever we go there, which is not very often (1-2 times a year), he always gets the Zuppa Toscana soup. If you’re not familiar with what that is, it’s essentially a potato and sausage soup in a cream base. I always go for the salad or opt for a different type of soup.
Since I’ve started my blog, I’ve been wanted to try more recipes that are new and different to me. If you know me at all, you know I love (simply adore!) baking. Cooking….meh, not so much. If I can cook something that makes the husband happy (and have seconds!), well, you know it was a good night for me. I made this soup the other night and on a whim, I decided to double the recipe so I could freeze the leftovers for future meals. Yes, I was feeling lucky…real lucky that it would all be as good as I had “hoped” it would be. Sometimes, you just have to have faith that it will all go well :)
The verdict: Soup was awesome! Husband and I both had seconds! My neighbor, who had just returned from vacation, happened to stop by and I gave her some to take home with her. Just today, she told me that she “needed” this recipe. Obviously she was still thinking about the yummy, goodness of this soup.
The original recipe called for spinach, be we LOVE kale, so being the experienced chef I am (total sarcasm here), I decided to switch things up and use kale. The Zuppa Toscana soup has kale in it, so I wanted to get something closer to that recipe. Our love of kale goes hand-in-hand with our love of juicing….kale is awesome for juicing and practically a must. But sorry, that’s another post :)
Okay, without further babbling, here’s the recipe. Go ahead, make a lot. You’ll want to freeze it for future meals. Trust me.
Italian Potato-Sausage Soup
Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites
20 oz. lean Italian turkey sausage
1/2+ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 large onion, diced
5-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
8 cups (2 boxes) chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, diced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 cups low-fat milk
3 ounces light cream cheese
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups kale, chopped (be sure to remove the stems from the ends)
Remove the sausage from casings and crumble it into a large soup pot. Begin cooking it over medium heat and add red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, onion, and garlic. Saute until the sausage is fully cooked and drain if necessary. Add the chicken broth and Italian seasoning, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add diced potatoes, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Add kale approximately 5 minutes after potatoes have been added (kale will cook in about 10-15 minutes). Cook potatoes until tender (approx. 15-20 minutes).
Note: I used about 1/2 bunch of kale for this recipe and it was perfect. If you are doubling this recipe, use the entire bunch.
While the potatoes and kale are cooking, place the milk, cream cheese, flour, and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. Heat the butter over medium-low heat in a small saucepan, then add the milk mixture and cook over medium heat until thick (like a very thick cream soup or a stirrable pudding). When the potatoes are cooked, add the thickened milk mixture. Season with additional crushed red pepper flakes and kosher salt to taste and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serves 8-10.