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In the Kitchen with Kaye: Italian Sausage and Kale Soup Recipe

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Adapted from a recipe claiming to copycat Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana. I made this (with my adaptations below) Saturday night, and it was FANTASTIC! I left out the potatoes, because I’m trying to watch my carbs, and I used evaporated milk because that’s what I had in the house. Next time, I’ll probably do it with half-and-half, as the evaporated milk “broke” a little bit while cooking and, although it tasted fine, that gave it a grainy look.

1 Tbsp Olive oil
16–20 oz. Hot/spicy italian pork sausage, casings removed
1/4 Cup Real bacon bits, or 3–4 slices fried and chopped
1 Large onion, chopped
2 Tbsp Butter
1/2 Tbsp Minced garlic
2–3 Cups Kale or other greens, deveined and chopped
32 oz. Chicken broth
8–12 oz. Heavy cream, half-and-half, or evaporated milk
Salt & pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes (optional)

  1. In a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat, add olive oil and brown sausage.
  2. Remove cooked sausage from pot with slotted spoon into a bowl lined with paper towels, leaving as much oil/fat in pot as possible.
  3. Lower heat to medium and add bacon, onion, and butter; sauté until onions are soft and turning translucent.
  4. Add garlic and kale and allow kale to wilt slightly, about 3–4 minutes, taking care that garlic does not burn.
  5. Add broth and cream, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a rolling boil. Let boil, stirring, for 2–3 minutes.
  6. Add sausage and return to a boil.
  7. Cover and simmer on low 20 minutes.
  8. Taste and add additional seasonings if desired, including red pepper flake for a spicier soup.
  9. Simmer an additional 15–20 minutes before serving.

For a milder soup, use mild sausage and omit red pepper flakes.

Serves 3–4 in entrée size, 6–8 in appetizer size.

  1. JudyD permalink
    Saturday, October 5, 2013 9:17 pm

    Sounds absolutely yummy! Dad loves this soup so I’ll be trying it soon. We are headed for 40-60 degrees tonight (probably around 50) so Sunday night might be good for this.


    • Saturday, October 5, 2013 11:09 pm

      If you cook the bacon fresh, do that first and use the bacon grease to brown the sausage in instead of adding olive oil. I just added a handful of the Costco bacon bits to cut down on prep time.


  2. Sunday, October 6, 2013 6:15 am

    This sounds amazing ~ thank you for sharing with us, Kaye. I just made out my October menu and am working on November, but I may have to switch something out so we can try this one soon!


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