Homemade Zuppa Toscana


My husband is out of town this weekend and, on the rare occasion that happens, I like to have my girlfriends over for some great food and a chic flick.  Picking a movie is never the hard part.  The hard part for our girl's night is "What are we going to eat?"  We are all foodies, and are always wanting to try new things.  Well, tonight's main course inspiration came from a mid-week luncheon I had with my friend Melissa.  We were eating at Olive Garden, and opted for their Zuppa Toscana instead of the salad as the opening course to our meal.  As I was eating the soup I said to her, "I could so make this at home, we should make this on Thursday!"  Of course, she was totally amicable to this idea, so I began picking apart the ingredients on my palette.  (I secretly love a good challenge like this!)  Then it was off to the store to purchase a couple things I needed. 

Well, here we are, Thursday, and I have to tell you...I NAILED IT!!  The flavor was spot on and it was delicious!  Best of all, it was easy!  I can't wait to share my recipe with you, so let's get started!

Zuppa Toscana:
*Prep Time: 10 minutes *Cook Time:  30 minutes  *Difficulty:  Easy *Servings: 6-8
Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 10 c. chicken stock
  • 2 c. kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 2-3 potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2-3 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

To begin, place your Dutch oven over medium high heat and add olive oil.


Once your pot is hot, add your onions and cook until soft and translucent.


Next you will add the garlic.  Cook the garlic until you can smell it coming from the pot.


Now it is time to add the sausage and...


Red chili flakes.


Let the sausage brown and cook all the way through.
When it is finished cooking, remove from pot and set to the side.


Now it is time for the stock.

(Yes, I prefer homemade stock, but sometimes you just don't have it on hand,
or, maybe a chicken purchase is not in the budget.
Don't worry about it!  Chicken bouillon works just fine here.)

After you have added your stock, let it come to a boil. 


While you are waiting on your stock to come to a boil, take this opportunity
to prep your kale and potatoes.


Once you have a rolling boil in your stock, drop it to a simmer
and add your potatoes...


sausage...


milk...


and kale.


Cover the pot and let your soup simmer for 10 minutes.
This will allow the kale to wilt and cook.


Look at that!  Zuppa Toscana that YOU MADE in YOUR HOME!!!


Ladle this up into a nice, big bowl, top with some freshly grated parmesan, add a couple slices of garlic toast,
and life just doesn't get any better!

Inspiration for great food is all around us!  We just have to open our pallets, and our minds, be willing to take risks, and reap the rewards!!! 

Now get in your kitchen and try something new!!! 
And as always....

Happy Eating, Happy Reading, and Happy Living,

~The Kitchen Wife~


Zuppa Toscana:
*Prep Time: 10 minutes *Cook Time:  30 minutes  *Difficulty:  Easy *Servings: 6-8
Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 10 c. chicken stock
  • 2 c. kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 2-3 potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2-3 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Tools:
  • Dutch oven
  • Chef's knife
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring Cups
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Ladle
Directions:
  1. Place the Dutch oven over medium high heat and add oil.
  2. Place onions in pot and cook until soft and translucent.
  3. Add garlic and cook until you smell the garlic coming from the pan.
  4. Add sausage and chili flakes. 
  5. Chop and brown sausage.
  6. Remove sausage from pot when brown and set aside.
  7. Add chicken stock to the pot.
  8. Using a wooden spoon, scrape brown bits from the bottom of pan. 
  9. Bring to boil and add sliced potatoes.
  10. Allow potatoes to cook for 10 minutes.
  11. Add milk to pot.
  12. Return sausage to the pot.
  13. Add the chopped kale to the pot.
  14. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 10 minutes. 
  15. Ladle into a bowl, top with parmesan, and ENJOY!
**This pairs great with a nice toasted, crusty bread**

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