The weather has been, cold, cold, cold here (although today is clear and sunny) and I was in the mood for soup so rummaged through my old bookmarks and found this copycat Olive Garden recipe for Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan soup) from Food.com. I wanted something different than the recipes I usually turn to and this one hit the spot. The combination of Italian sausage and kale is delicious and the red pepper flakes give it a little kick. I made it a day before I wanted to serve it to give the flavors a chance to meld and I have to say that this is a winner. I don’t think I’ve ever tried Zuppa Toscana at the Olive Garden but will make a point to order it next time I’m there. The reviews I read of this recipe say its a dead ringer. Even Pioneer Woman gives it an enthusiastic thumbs up.
Kale is my new favorite veggie and I’m looking forward to buying it at the farmers’ market when it opens in a few weeks. A dietician at WebMD couldn’t say enough good things about it nutritional value. “Move over Popeye and make room for the “queen of greens,” kale. Gaining in popularity, kale is an amazing vegetable being recognized for its exceptional nutrient richness, health benefits, and delicious flavor.
Eating a variety of natural, unprocessed vegetables can do wonders for your health, but choosing super-nutritious kale on a regular basis may provide significant health benefits, including cancer protection and lowered cholesterol.
Kale, also known as borecole, is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. A leafy green, kale is available in curly, ornamental, or dinosaur varieties. It belongs to the Brassica family that includes cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts… I’m sold.
- i pound Italian sausage
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup white wine to deglaze the pan
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano (my addition)
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 2 cups fresh kale, chopped
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2-1/2 cups water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper
- In a large stockpot or Dutch oven on medium heat crumble sausage into the pan and cook until well browned. Remove the cooked sausage from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl; set aside. Add chopped onion to the pan and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes (and oregano if desired) to the pan and cook for a minute more, just until fragrant. Add the wine to the pot and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Add the potatoes, kale, chicken broth and water to the pot. Return the sausage to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer on medium-low. Cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender. Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.
I want to use more of this nutrient packed vegetable in my summer cooking. What are your favorite ways of cooking kale?