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Zuppa Toscana


I’m back!  I took my test and it was really, really hard.  I still haven’t found out if I passed or not, but wanted to distract myself from the repetitive and horrific day-mares that I have been having of being forced to live in my car and dig for food in a dumpster when I have to quit my job and…and.  Yeah.  I can be a bit of a worrier.

So I combined hot Italian sausage, kale, and a few of my other favorite things (oh hey, garlic) to make a comforting and warm soup to hopefully prevent further moping/panic attacks.  You know, for an hour or two.

Because even Henry is getting cranky around here.

(I apologize for the poor quality picture–but his expression was too difficult to resist posting anyway).

Zuppa Toscana (makes, um, a big huge pot of soup–serves 6-8 hungry, hungry hippos)

  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, minced
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 4-6 russet potatoes, scrubbed and diced
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped (it looks like a ton–but it’ll cook down!)
  • 1 quart chicken broth (watch the sodium here) with a few additional cups of water as needed
  • 1 pint half-and-half
  • salt and pepper to taste

First, crumble and brown the sausage in a large stock pot over medium heat.

Remove the sausage to a separate bowl and drain the most of the grease from the pot.  Sauté the green peppers and onions for a few minutes, then add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt.  Allow the garlic to cook until fragrant.

Add the diced kale, potatoes, and chicken broth, then cover and simmer on low until the potatoes are fork tender.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before adding the half-and-half.  Return to a gentle simmer for 5-10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Now, I love me some crock pot soups, but there really is a difference when something is allowed to brown on a stove-top.  Those browned onions and garlic add a depth of flavor that is missing from a crock pot.

Not as convenient, though.  It’s a give and take, folks!

This soup has a delicious broth, but the best parts are the spicy sausage and the kale.  I really like kale is soups better than any other form (though kale chips are a close second).  It gets really flavorful but never loses its heartiness.

Even the kale stems are good, but if you want, you could cut them out before cooking.

Now I hope you are enjoying the gorgeous fall weather out there before the Frankenstorm hits next week!

Things can get crazy out there:


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Permanent link to this article: http://www.fullmeasureofhappiness.com/2012/10/25/zuppa-toscana/


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  1. Florence

    Very happy to read you again.Fingers cross for your test.Big kiss to Henry.It try to have the good expression for Halloween!

  2. Cara

    Great to have you back! I missed your posts!

  3. krystle g

    thanks for this! Making it right now 😀

  4. Breanna

    Doll! You are one of the smartest people I know, dont fret! Also, I am so happy to see your posts again, we are drooling over here…and that last photo of Henry made me pee my pants laughing. Love you!

  5. Lauren

    My cat looks exactly like a female version of Henry!! Beautiful….

  6. Paulien

    Dear Lauren,
    Hope you’ve passed your test and do not, I repeat, do not have to live in a car (the only option then is to bake an egg on the front of your car, so I’ve heard).
    Please tell me what half-and-half is? Is it like double-cream?
    Love from Holland – we tend to eat Kale a lot in Holland – Paulien

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Half and half is half light cream and half milk! Basically the opposite of double cream :) you can just make your own–half heavy or light cream and half whatever milk you have :)

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