Monday, October 17, 2016

Zuppa Toscana

menumusings.com Zuppa Toscana
Zuppa toscana translates to "soup in the style of Tuscany" and is an Italian soup made with Italian sausage, crushed red peppers, diced white onion, bacon, garlic puree, chicken bouillon, heavy cream, and potatoes.  Aside from that, you may have had it at a popular Italian chain restaurant here in the United States.  It's a fantastically hearty soup for a cool evening and is oh so simple to throw together.  This version even has the benefit of a healthy dose of kale, which my kids are super cool with... making it even better for the whole family! 

menumusings.comIf your family hasn't been introduced to kale, this is a great recipe to start with, as it really has no taste but is SUPER healthy for you.  Chop it super small and let it pass as just another seasoning.  Your "meat and potato" lovers are sure to appreciate this one! I was at my mother's house one evening when she was making this and it blew my mind... "Where in the world has THIS been all my life?" and "Oh my word, my kids are going to LOVE this!" 




Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup bacon (~ 4 slices)
  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage
  • 2 cups small red potatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 - 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 cups kale
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano reggiano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp kosher salt 

Step-by-Step:
Cook 1/3 cup bacon pieces (~ 4 slices) either separately or in the same heavy pot that you are going to make the soup in.  Cut them into lardons about 1/2" pieces.  You can remove them to a separate dish.


*Tip - I've even tried making this soup "out of order" by sautéing the bacon and onions first and keeping them in the pot the whole time.  It worked just fine.  Moral of the story.. I don't think you can really mess this up.  
1/3 cup bacon (about 4 strips)
Brown 1 pound Italian sausage, breaking into small pieces as you go.
1 pound Italian sausage (I used mild. Use spicy for more kick)
Chop the kale as finely as you'd like it!  We remove the outer spine first.  

Tip - * I'm always looking for parts of a recipe where I can elicit help from my kids.  They love being involved, it makes them curious about the dish, and definitely helps them feel ownership of the recipe.  Oh - and of course they learn cool techniques, new vocabulary, and are eager to try new things!  Win - win -win! 
2 cups fresh kale
Add the 2 cans chicken broth and 1 quart water to the pot and stir.
2 cans chicken broth
1 quart water
Add 1 large chopped onion, 2 cups chopped small red potatoes and 2 -3 large minced garlic cloves to the pot and bring to a boil.
1 large onion, chopped as finely as you'd like it

*Tip - The red potatoes hold together during the cooking process better than the other kinds without mushing up or falling apart!  The yellow ones fall apart.  You're welcome.

2 cups small red potatoes, cut uniformly in chunks

* Tip - In a hurry?  You can use the garlic paste that comes in a squeeze tube for faster soup prep!  I've tried it with this recipe and it works fabulously! 

2-3 large garlic cloves, minced finely
Add the chopped kale after bringing to a boil.
Cook until the potatoes are fork tender, then it's time to add the cream.

Turn down to a simmer, add in the 1 cup cream and simmer an additional 10 minutes on low.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Add in the cooked bacon pieces.
Add in the 2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper (or to taste). *this soup traditionally has red pepper flakes as well.  You could add them here but I knew my kiddos might not appreciate them, so I didn't.
black pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp)
kosher salt to taste (I used about 2 tsp)
Doing a check to see how it all looks... how thick it is, etc.  Colors are nice, eh?  But it feels a little bit thin to me, so let's add a little thickener.
Add in a roux made of 2 Tbsp flour and 1 Tbsp melted butter (made into a paste).  Mixed together, they won't clump up.  This needs to be stirred into the soup and cooked a good 5 minutes or so.  Allow it to come up to a nice bubble so the thickeners can do their work and the floury taste can cook out.  
1 tsp melted butter + 2 Tbsp flour
Now as a final touch just before serving, we hand grated about a half a cup of Parmigiano reggiano!
Of course this magical touch makes everything just right!  :)
Optional - 1/2 cup Parmigiano reggiano freshly grated
We like to pass around a big chunk of Parm and the grater so everyone can grate a little cheese right over their soup after they ladle some into their bowls.  Sorry, just being completely honest.  LOL  
Also, if you have some really good vrea 
This isn't a very savvy photo, but here are two very happy little kitchen helpers who LOVE LOVE LOVE this soup!  At the end of the day, that's really all that counts.  Not a fancy photo.  :)
The kitchen crew! :) 
Written Method:
1 - Cook 1/3 cup bacon pieces (~ 4 slices) either separately or in the same heavy pot that you are going to make the soup in.  You can remove them to a separate dish.
2 - Brown 1 pound Italian sausage, breaking into small pieces as you go.
3 - Add the 2 cans chicken broth and 1 quart water to the pot and stir.
4 - Add 1 large chopped onion, 2 cups chopped red potatoes and 2 large minced garlic cloves to the pot and bring to a boil.
5 - Add the chopped kale.
6 - Cook until the potatoes are fork tender.
7 - Add in the 1 cup cream and simmer an additional 10 minutes on low.
8 - Add in the cooked bacon pieces.
9 - Add in the 2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper (or to taste). *this soup traditionally has red pepper flakes as well.  You could add them here.  
10 - Add in the roux made of 2 Tbsp flour and 1 Tbsp melted butter (made into a paste).
11- Add in the 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano and serve. 

4 comments:

  1. Love that soup... just made it last week:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm sorry, I can't answer that. We haven't had leftovers.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have made this soup at least 5 times now and yes it freezes great. My changes are as follows. Sauté the onions and garlic after browning the mild sausage. No red pepper or parmigiana cheese except in each persons bowl. Then drain the fat off. I use baby kale and baby spinach. My mother who will turn 87 next month absolutely LOVES this dish, as does everyone else who has eaten it. Wonderful with french bread to dunk in the the delicious broth. If you enjoy more soupy soup you made want to add additional chicken broth. Fabulous meal. Making again today💃

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