In the beautiful realm that is Tasty Kitchen (I know, it’s like I’m addicted) this recipe has gotten rave reviews time after time, and after staring at its mug on the internet for any number of months, I finally did my duty to mankind as well as to my own palate and made it.
And am I ever thankful that I did.
I figured if it was anything like Olive Garden’s Tuscan soup, it would be pretty dang good. Well, it surpassed even my loaded expectations.
Let me break it down to you real simple-like. In five words: Love, adoration, creaminess, love, creaminess.
Five adjectives? Spicy. Hearty. Satisfying. Flavorful. Delicious.
Five verbs? To eat. To sigh. To crave. To devour. To repeat.
After making it for the first time and failing to photograph it, I immediately made plans for making it again. So here is take 2, which I will hereby refer to as “Take Awesome.”
1 lb spicy breakfast sausage (I used Jimmy Dean’s hot sausage)
1 red onion
3 slices bacon
5 cloves garlic
3 medium sized red potatoes
1 quart chicken stock
3 c roughly chopped kale leaves
1/2 c heavy whipping cream
Salt and pepper, to taste (go heavy on the black pepper)
Good evening, ingredients! (It’s always important to say a kind ‘hello’ to the ingredients–it makes them ever so much more cooperative.)
Step one: grab that sausage.
Tear it into rustic chunks with your fingers. I tried to make them all about the size of a meatball.
Then lick your fingers.
Just kidding! Please don’t obey me blindly. Except when I tell you to send me things–like a sample of that batch of cookies you just made. In that case, don’t question me. Or else.
Toss the sausage into a hot Dutch oven, and cook it over medium high heat until cooked through (about 10 minutes).
You’ll have to give it the occasional stir to make sure the pieces get browned all over. Remove the sausage to a plate and set it aside. But don’t worry–we’ll meet again.
Chop the onion, mince the garlic, and dice the bacon. Aren’t red onions just beautiful?
Make sure when you snap the picture that the bacon is completely out of focus. Check.
Add the bacon to the Dutch oven, and cook over medium-high for 5 minutes.
Soon it will start browning and your salivary glands will be activated.
Just direct your streams of drool away from the pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.
Wash the potatoes, cut them in half lengthwise, and then slice them into half-moons (1/4” slices).
Now let’s return to the Dutch oven, and pour in that chicken stock.
Toss in the potatoes too, while you’re at it.
Simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes, and test the potatoes for doneness. You want them to be almost done–but not quite.
In the meantime, wash and roughly chop the kale. My grocery store was out of their supply of kale–with the exception of these prewashed, prechopped bags. My hand was forced! In Take 1, I dealt with kale in its natural state. But in Take Awesome, the work was all done for me. I have mixed feelings about that.
So back to business: once the potatoes are almost-done-but-not-quite, add the heavy cream . . .
. . . the reserved sausage . . .
. . . and the kale.
I like lotsa lotsa kale. Plus, it wilts down just like spinach. So what looks like ‘lotsa lotsa’ will actually become a healthy, moderate amount.
It’s also the right time to add copious amounts of black pepper. Taste the soup and season it to your liking.
Simmer it for another 5 minutes, stirring to incorporate everything.
Grab a ladle, and let’s serve it up.
Some buttery chunks of garlic bread wouldn’t be amiss at all. No sirree.
I love how this soup is full of ‘stuff’–it means that each bite is a fun adventure in flavor and texture. Just look at what this spoonful turned up.
If I haven’t made myself clear, I highly, highly recommend this soup.
But the only thing that will fully convince you of the awesomeness and wonder of this soup is actually making it. So what are you waiting for? Grab your grocery list! Add the ingredients! Hop to it!
Thanks for letting me order you about–it may happen quite frequently on this blog. It helps give my bossy older sister tendencies a good airing.
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