Thursday, August 5, 2010

Super-Delicious Zuppa Toscana (Soup)

• 1 pound bulk mild Italian sausage
• 1 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
• 4 slices bacon,  crumble
• 1 large onion, diced
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 5 (13.75 ounce) cans chicken broth
• 6 potato, thinly sliced
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1/4 bunch fresh spinach, tough stems removed

• Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

• Cook the bacon in the same Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain, leaving a few tablespoons of drippings with the bacon in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Stir in the onions and garlic; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

• Pour the chicken broth into the Dutch oven with the bacon and onion mixture; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage; heat through. Mix the spinach into the soup just before serving.

Calories: 555
Total Fat: 32.7g
Cholesterol: 99mg

Tips:  Use kale instead of spinach (the famous restaurant uses kale). I also added 1 teaspoon of fennel as I think that it is crucial to the flavor of the soup. My Italian sausage was hot enough without the added red pepper, also. Still, I think this recipe is pretty forgiving and you can add or subtract to your taste.
Instead of heavy cream I use milk with about 3 tbsp cornstarch.

This soup freezes great, too!
You can substitute cauliflower for the potatoes for a lower carb diet and it is just as delicious.

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