Sunday Supper: Zuppa Toscana

Welcome to the first installment of weekly posts called Sunday Supper! Okay– so the title isn’t so original as many-a-blogger have used it before, but you’ve got to admit it’s catchy, and alliterations can do me no wrong. Besides, how else am I supposed to describe the dinners I make every Sunday night?

Yesterday’s Sunday Supper was Zuppa Toscana. This is a soup on the menu of a certain unnamed Italian-American restaurant chain. Is it authentic? Can’t say. But hey, J loves this soup and I managed to find a decent recipe for it many years ago. It’s hearty and filling, and potatoes and bacon and cream? Come on. Served with a crusty loaf of bread, it hits the spot on rainy autumn evenings like last night.

Zuppa Toscana
(Adapted from AllRecipes.com)
Makes 6 servings

6 slices bacon
16 oz smoked sausage, sliced (Italian sausage would work just as well, if not better)
3/4 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium russet potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 tbsp chicken soup base or 2 tbsp chicken bouillon powder
4 cups water
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 cups kale, washed, dried, and shredded
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat. Crumble and set aside. Pour off excess fat (I like to save the fat in a glass jar in the fridge to use in place of butter or oil in other recipes), and add sausage to skillet. Cook sausage until browned, remove from heat, and set aside.

Place onions and garlic in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add chicken soup base, water, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

Stir in bacon, sausage, kale, and cream. Continue to simmer for 4-5 minutes; taste broth and add salt and pepper as needed.  Ladle soup into bowls, serve hot, and enjoy!