Easy Weeknight Dinners Recipe // My family LOVES potato soup of any kind. Routinely, when I ask what they would like for dinner, the very first thing out of the girl's mouth is… "potato soup!" Baked potato, potato cheddar corn chowder they will devour any of them, one of their favorites is Zuppa Toscana from the Olive Garden. We have been known to schlep it on over to Olive Garden just to have our fill of Zuppa Toscana on many occasions. That was until I found some copy cat recipes and started developing a knockoff of my very own. There is just something about the creamy broth salted with the spicy sausage and the pleasant surprise of the kale that just gets our engines a revving. We've even served it for Christmas Eve dinner a few times. Yep, we love it that much.
Every year when the air starts to crisp up with the promise of fall, the kiddos start asking for my version of Zuppa Toscana, so I thought I would share it with you today. I developed my recipe after a bit of research on copy cat recipes and it's quite a bit different than most copy cats, but it's one that we have fallen in love with. It's simple with easy to find, affordable ingredients so it's a perfect addition to your weeknight dinner line-up.
WhipperBerry's Zuppa Toscana
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T butter
1 lb bacon
1 lb sausage
1 large white diced onion
2 T garlic paste
1 1/2 t red pepper flakes
2 t salt
1 t pepper
4 large potatoes
4 – 6 cups water ( just to cover the potatoes)
24 oz. (2 cans) evaporated milk
3 cups kale
salt & pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for garnish
Add oil & butter to large soup pot and place over medium high heat. Add bacon that has been cut into small strips. Lower the heat to medium and cook until bacon is cooked through. This may take 10-15 minutes. Remove bacon and fat from pot and set aside the bacon. Add the sausage to the pot and season with red pepper flakes, salt & pepper. Once the sausage has browned add the diced onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until the onions are nice and soft.
While the bacon and sausage are cooking, peel and cut the potatoes into bite sized pieces. Once the onions are soft, add the garlic paste and cook for another minute then add the potatoes to the pot and cover with water. Place the stove on high and bring to a boil. Once the pot is boiling lower the heat a bit and let simmer for 15-20 until the potatoes are soft. Turn off heat and add the two cans of evaporated milk and return to a medium heat. Watch your temperature carefully, you don't want to boil it at this point.
Wash, dry and roughly chop the kale and add to the soup. Continue to cook at a low simmer for another 5 minute until the kale has softened a bit. Check your seasoning, add more salt and pepper if needed. Remove from heat and serve. We like to add some shaved Parmesan cheese on top along with the bacon pieces from earlier. Serve with some crusty garlic bread and enjoy. To me, this dish is the ultimate Italian comfort food.
Fall is the celebrated start to the soup, chowder, stew and chili season… what's your family's favorite recipe?