Sunday, 17 November 2013

Sausage & Kale Soup (Zuppa Tuscana)

1 lb (500 g) Italian sausage ** 
2 large potatoes, sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups kale or 2 cups swiss chard, chopped into thin ribbons
900 ml box chicken broth **
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup heavy whipping cream **
4 strips of bacon cooked and crumbled OR 1/4 cup bacon bits (optional) ** 

Italian sausage: any type of dinner sausage or smoked pork sausage
Bacon: ¾ oz salt pork
Chicken Broth: 2 cans of condensed chicken broth and 4 cups water OR 1 Knorr condensed chicken stock tub and 4 cups water; OR 2 Oxo cubes (chicken flavour) and 4 cups water.
Kale or swiss chard: 10 oz package of frozen spinach, defrosted and drained. Squeeze the moisture out of it before adding to the soup OR 2 cups fresh spinach
Heavy cream: can of condensed milk

1. ** Optional step** Slowly cook the bacon until crisp. If using salt pork, dice into small bits and cook slowly.
2. Chop or slice uncooked sausage into small pieces.
3. Brown sausage in a heavy bottomed soup pot. Use the bacon fat if you used Step 1.
4. Add onions and saut√© slowly until softened. Add garlic and let it warm in the oil. Don’t overcook or the garlic will get bitter.
5. Add chicken broth and water to pot and stir.
6. Add potatoes, and cook on medium heat until potatoes are done, about 15-20 minutes.
7. Remove a few of the cooked potatoes and mash them with a fork to thicken up the soup. Alternatively, you could add 2 Tablespoons of mashed potato flakes if you have them on hand.
8. Add crisped bacon bits or salt pork “crunchies”.
9. Salt and pepper to taste.
10. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
11. Turn to medium heat.
12. Add kale or swiss chard. Kale will need to cook about 15 minutes, Swiss chard will be done in about 5. Frozen spinach doesn’t need to be cooked.
13. Add cream or milk substitute, if using
14. Heat through and serve.

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