Zuppa Toscana

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 small carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
package of chicken sausage ~5 links
8 cups chicken stock
3 potatoes, skinned, cubed
1/4 cup stelline pasta (optional)
3 cups kale, washed, off of stalk, torn into small pieces
1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/3 cup half and half or heavy whipping cream

Directions:
1. In a stock pot or dutch oven, add the olive oil and onions. Cook until they are translucent, about 4 minutes.
2. Add the carrots and celery, stirring occasionally.
3. Cut the sausage into pieces, even taking the meat out of the casing.
4. Add to the pot along with garlic and cook until browned.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Prep the potatoes, wash and peel, cut into cubes. Add to the pot.
7. Add the stock.
8. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes.
9. Drain the fat from the top of the surface.
10. Add the stelline pasta if using and stir then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes.
11. Check that the potatoes are soft.
12. Add the kale and simmer for a minute.
13. Remove from the heat then add the half and half.
14. Serve with garlic bread or enjoy as is.

I have always loved the soup from Olive Garden. This is a great alternative to their soup because it’s healthier! I got this recipe from one of my nutrition classmates to which I made some adjustments. I love kale, so I added 1-2 cups more than was called for which also may require you to add more stock. I also added the stelline pasta because they were so cute but I have made this with egg noodles, since I had about a cup left in the pantry. Make sure to add the half and half at the last possible minute since it can curdle. I stirred the soup while adding the half and half. If there are curds that rise to the top, simply scoop it out! Stay warm.

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