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Zuppa Toscana: A Hearty and Flavorful Tuscan Soup

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Zuppa Toscana is a beloved Italian soup originating from Tuscany, known for its hearty combination of Italian sausage, potatoes, kale, and cream. This comforting dish is perfect for colder weather or anytime you crave a warming bowl of soup that’s both satisfying and full of flavor. Let’s explore how to make Zuppa Toscana with a recipe that captures the essence of this rustic Italian favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Italian sausage (spicy or mild), casings removed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth (preferably low sodium)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 bunch kale, tough stems removed and leaves chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
  • Red pepper flakes, for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

Step 1: Cook the Italian Sausage

  1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cook the Italian sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it apart with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the sausage from the pot and set aside.

Step 2: Saute the Aromatics

  1. In the same pot, add the chopped onion. Cook until softened and translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Step 3: Simmer the Soup

  1. Pour in the chicken broth and water. Stir to combine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  2. Add the diced potatoes to the pot. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Step 4: Add Kale and Finish the Soup

  1. Stir in the chopped kale and cooked Italian sausage. Let the soup simmer for another 5-7 minutes, or until the kale is wilted and tender.
  2. Pour in the heavy cream and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 5: Serve

  1. Ladle the Zuppa Toscana into bowls. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes, if desired.

Tips for Success:

  • Italian Sausage: Use either spicy or mild Italian sausage, depending on your preference for heat.
  • Potatoes: Choose starchy potatoes like Russet or Yukon Gold for their creamy texture when cooked.
  • Kale: Fresh kale adds a hearty texture and nutritional value to the soup. Ensure to remove the tough stems before chopping.

Serving Suggestions:

Zuppa Toscana is delicious served with crusty Italian bread or garlic bread for dipping. Pair it with a crisp white wine like Pinot Grigio or a light-bodied red wine such as Chianti to complement the flavors of the soup. Enjoy it as a comforting lunch or dinner option, especially during cooler months.

Conclusion:

Zuppa Toscana embodies the rustic charm and rich flavors of Tuscan cuisine, combining savory Italian sausage, tender potatoes, and nutritious kale in a creamy broth. Whether enjoyed as a hearty meal or a comforting bowl of soup, this recipe brings the warmth and tradition of Italy to your table. Treat yourself and your loved ones to the deliciousness of Zuppa Toscana and savor every spoonful of this Tuscan-inspired masterpiece.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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