Recipe: Toscana Soup

kale_arrangement2

Ah, a winter soup that is easy to make and fairly cheap.  We made a pot tonight and my only wish was that we had a light snowfall and roaring fire to go with it.  Below is the recipe; if you give it a try, let me know how you enjoy it.  We use mild sausage since we have a little one who also enjoys this recipe.

  • 1 package of 5 large sausage links- mild or hot, but not sweet. 
  • 6 sliced of bacon, chopped
  • 3/4 C. diced onion (about 1 large onion)
  • 1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
  • 32+ oz. chicken broth (low-sodium is fine)
  • 2 potatoes, cubed
  • 1/3 to 1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
  • Approximately 2 C. washed and shredded kale, removed from center stems

Bake 5 sausages in 350 oven for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.  While sausage is cooking, dice the bacon and onion, and cube your potatoes (no need to peel, unless you prefer).  In large stockpot or dutch oven placed on medium heat, cook bacon about halfway, then add onion.  Continue cooking until onion is clear and bacon is cooked thoroughly.  Add garlic and cook another minute.  Add chicken broth and potatoes and simmer about 15 minutes.  By now, you should be ready to remove the sausage from the oven.  Slice each link in half vertically, then slice horizontally into 1/2 inch slices.  As you simmer the potatoes, if your stock cooks down too much, reduce heat and add in some more chicken broth.  Once potatoes are cooked, add sausage, cream, and washed/shredded kale.  Simmer on low another 5 minutes, then serve.

While we do not use kale much, it is quite nutritious, packed with calcium, vitamin K, magnesium and beta carotene; it’s also easy to find and cheap! The stems are quite thick and woody, so I simply pull the leaves from the center stem and hand tear into the soup.  I never use a full head or bunch in the soup, so I shred the remaining leaves the next day and sautee with some olive oil and garlic.

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