This Zuppa Toscana is a mouthwatering replica of the one served at Olive Garden, except that homemade is always better! Fresh, hot, and makes a big pot that tastes delicious as leftovers. It will be a sure hit!
- 1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
- 12 slices bacon, cooked and diced
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 7 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, cleaned and sliced into thin pieces
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tsp table salt, plus more to taste if needed
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups half and half
- 2 cups packed kale, choped into bite size pieces
- finely shredded parmesan cheese for serving
- In a large heavy pot or dutch oven, over medium-high heat, cook sausage and break up into pieces while cooking. When cooked through, transfer sausage to a separate dish, but reserve 1-2 tsp of the grease in the pot. Add diced onions to pot and cook until onions are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add chicken broth, potatoes, sugar, fennel seeds, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Bring soup to a boil, and immediately reduce to medium-low. Stir in half and half, kale, and cooked sausage. Cover pot and simmer 10-15 minutes or just until potatoes are nicely tender. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
- If desired, skim top to remove excess fat from soup. Ladle soup into bowls, garnished with diced bacon and parmesan.