One of my favorite things to do is go out to eat, someone else cooks it, cleans up and all I have to do is enjoy it! But, I always feel sick once the bill comes and I realize I have paid as much for one meal as a whole cart of grocery’s . In order for me to stay home and raise my kids, eating out is one of the things we have cut out. We try to fit it in our budget at least once a month. So instead I have learned to make some of our favorite restaurant meals at home. One of our favorites is the wonderful zuppa toscana sausage, potato soup at Olive Garden. I made it this weekend for my family, and I thought I would pass this thrifty recipe on to you! This recipe will make a LARGE pot of soup and normal feeds my family a few meals. Or we share with friends!
Start out with 1.5 lb of your favorite brand of Italian sausage. I always buy the mild, but if you like it a little spicy get the hot. This is my family’s favorite, we find it at Walmart.
Put the sausage and one medium onion (diced) into a large soup pot. On Medium heat brown the sausage and onion.
I like to let mine get a little “crisp” around the edges, it seems to hold together better in the soup.
Once the meat is cooked you will need to drain it, because it will have a lot of grease on it. You can even rinse it if you want, but I just normally drain it. I like to have a little bit to help flavor the soup. ( One time I did not drain it and the soup was really oily…did not work so well)
You will need 6-8 medium potatoes. Wash them really well, and then dice with the skin on.
To the pot you just cooked the Sausage in add
- 6-8 cups chicken broth ( if you do not have it you can substitute water, but broth tastes MUCH better)
- the diced potatoes with skin on
- 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 3/4 Teaspoon black pepper ( if you want to spice up ad some red pepper flakes 1/2 teaspoon)
While the pan is still cool add in 3 cups of heavy cream ( you can substitute with whole milk or half and half , but the cream is best)
It is important to add this while the broth is still cool, if you add it to a boiling pot the cream will curdle
UPDATE*** I have now found I like to add the cream at the VERY END just before serving. You might try this option as well.
Now add the drained, cook sausage back to the pot, and turn on medium heat.
Slowing bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring every few minutes so you do not scald the cream.
Once it comes to a boil turn down to medium / low heat so it can simmer for 20 minutes
While your soup in simmering, wash your Kale very well, it has lots of green leaves for dirt to hide in.
I had never eaten or heard of kale before this recipe, but we LOVE it now!
Once you have washed it, take off the stock, it is not very good for eating. You just want the Kale leaf. Then chop the kale into small bite sized pieces.
You will need about 6 cups, uncooked.
Once the soup has been simmering for 20 min, add the 6 cups of chopped kale, cover again and simmer another 30 mins.
You will see the soup has a orange look to it, that is from the little bit of grease left from cooking the sausage, it is just a light layer but stays on top the pot. If you rinse the meat you will not get that thin layer, it is personal choice, taste fine either way.
You can top with a little bit of grated cheese, and enjoy! My whole family loves this and I hope you enjoy this recipe too!
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