Thursday, April 1, 2010

Zuppa Toscana Soup

This soup has become one of our mainstays, frequently making it on the weekly menu. It is very similar to the Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana soup, but less fattening and even tastier. Enjoy!

1 lb spicy Italian sausage
1/2 jar Real Bacon Bits
1 qt. water
2 cans chicken broth
1 large potato, cubed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 med onion, chopped
2 c kale, chopped
1 c fat free half & half
salt and pepper

1. Brown sausage, drain and set aside.
2. Put water, broth, potatoes, garlic and onion into a pot, simmer over medium heat until potatoes and onions are tender. Around 20 minutes.
3. Add sausage and bacon to pot, simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Add kale and half & half to pot. Season with salt and pepper. Heat through (a few minutes will do) and serve.

Couple of notes: We usually use the whole bunch of kale, which is closer to 3 cups. A few extra dark leafy greens never hurt anyone! The recipe serves four but goes great with breadsticks and, coupled with an extra potato, can stretch a little farther than four servings.

If you don't want to use the entire bunch of kale for the soup, make kale chips! Chop into large pieces, wash and dry thoroughly. Spray with olive oil, season with salt and anything that sounds good. Garlic, Greek seasoning and onion powder are all good choices. Lay the pieces in one layer on a baking sheet and pop under the broiler for a few minutes. They will crisp up like chips, taste great and are much better for you. Yum. Now I wish we hadn't used all the kale in the soup...

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