There is this soup that we love from Olive Garden called Zuppa Toscana. The recipe below (found on A Feathered Nest ) is not just as good as OG’s, it’s so much better! It’s great with some crusty bread and an amber ale (or drink of your choice).
2 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 -1/2 t. crushed red-pepper flakes (depends on how spicy you like it…I add extra)
5-7 large potatoes cut into small, 1/2 inch chunks (I used red potatoes)
1/4 c. fresh chopped Italian parsley
6 c. chicken broth (6 c. water + 3 Tbs. chicken base)
1 bunch kale, stemmed and shredded (about 3-4 c. shredded)
1.5 – 2 lbs. Italian sausage, casings removed (I usually use only 1lb and it’s still PLENTY)
1/3 c. heavy cream (optional, but wonderful!)
In a large pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion and cook until soft. Add garlic and red pepper flakes; cook until fragrant. Add the potatoes, parsley and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, brown sausage until it’s no longer pink. Set aside.
In a blender, or with an imersion blender, puree half the soup. Be careful not to burn yourself (speaking from experience). Return to the pot and add kale and sausage. Simmer until the kale is wilted about 10-15 minutes. Add heavy cream if you’d like. Salt & pepper as needed.
Makes about 8-10 generous servings.