I have always loved a nice bowl of soup. In fact, for many years I was certain I could survive on soup alone (that is, until I realized I could scarcely go 6 hours without chocolate). Several people have complained to me that soup doesn't have enough substance or texture to satisfy and therefore couldn't possibly stand alone as a meal. Soup would only ever be appetizer material. How ridiculous! This makes me wonder—have they only been exposed to condensed soups?
The record needs to be set straight.
Soups can be dense, hearty, and undeniably filling. One bowl of this Minnesota Wild Rice Soup stuffed me to the brim. There are so many textures and varieties—not to mention chowder, stew, and chili! I may be a bit of a soup fanatic but, really, with so many options, how could anyone get bored so quick? Even vegetarian soups can be hearty enough to satisfy a hungry stomach.
If you are the type of person who considers soup a side to a sandwich, this week I challenge you to shift your perspective. Make a soup so hearty that it will be impossible for that sandwich to be the center of attention.
Zuppa Toscana features potato, onions, garlic, and sausage bathed in a creamy chicken broth with kale. This soup is very aromatic and will certainly leave your home smelling delicious. Based on a soup featured at one of my favorite Italian chain restaurants, this soup will not disappoint your taste buds. If you like the original but don't feel like going out, you can make this soup in the comfort of your own home. I might be a bit biased, but I think it tastes even better than the original.
Adapted from Tuscan Recipes
Yields 8-10 servings
1 lb ground Italian sausage
1 teaspoon paprika
1 large white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, pureed
10 cups chicken broth
1 pound (about 3 large) Russet potatoes, sliced into disks
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 of a bunch (about 3-4 cups) kale, torn into bite sized pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large soup pot, sauté together the ground sausage and paprika until the meat is browned. Drain off the excess fat and move to a different bowl. Set aside.
In the same pot, sauté the onions and garlic until softened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the chicken broth and heat until boiling. Add the sliced potatoes, cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Add the cream, kale, and sausage and cook until heated thoroughly.