Have you ever had Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana? It's a creamy soup made with Italian sausage, kale and potatoes. I love the stuff, and this Sausage and Kale Soup recipe from Martha is a great start to recreating the restaurant dish at home.
As with all good recipes, it starts with onions and garlic being sauteed in olive oil. Seriously, after Darling Clandestine fragrances, this has to be one of my favorite smells. Sorry for the blurry picture--the steam got in the way.
Martha's recipe calls for smoked chicken sausage, which is certainly a healthier option. I, of course, went for the real deal: 3/4 pound of Italian sausage. Aw yeah. If you do things my way, be sure to brown, drain and crumble the Italian sausage before adding it to the soup.
To further move this recipe in the direction of Zuppa Toscana, I added 1/2 tablespoon of fennel seeds and 1 cup of whipping cream. Delicious!
Here's Martha's sausage and kale soup:
I'm sure her version is healthier, and made either way, it sure is a tasty and hearty soup for these cold winter months. Give it a try!