Sausage and Kale Soup (Sort of Zuppa Toscano)

12 Mar

I’ve been in the Boston area for almost six years this May. While I love the South there is one thing that it will never have, my Gram. Growing up in the South, one of the best things about “vacation” was to visit Gram in Boston (Quincy to be more specific). Being up here has been great because I can see her whenever I want! She’ll be 91 this year and one of the things we like to do is, well eat.

One place she likes is Olive Garden. She’s a fan of the soup, salad and breadsticks lunch. She opts for the gnocchi soup, while I love their Zuppa Toscano soup (yes I said I love it). Long before the kale craze, it was in this soup. I decided to try to make it and while it’s not the same as the Olive Garden it turned out super yum.

What you need

1 package of Italian sausage, casing removed

1 garlic clove, minced or grated with my handy new kitchen tool

Italian seasoning herb mix (any variety in your pantry will do)

2 tsp, red pepper flakes

1 cup of kale, trimmed (no stems) or frozen

2 red potatoes, sliced thin

1/3 cup of onion, chopped small (you could do bigger pieces if you prefer a better reminder that onion is in your soup)

1 box of low sodium chicken broth


2 shot glasses of milk (I used skim and Pinterest recipes seem to opt for heavy cream but I didn’t have any)

Shaved Parmesan cheese


One, just because I used skim milk does not make this healthy in any way. It’s a sausage soup with potatoes in it. Two, a shot glass was the closest thing to me at the time I decided to put milk in it. I don’t know what the exact measurement of said shot glass was so apologies. You could, in my opinion, eye ball the milk part but you want to pour it in a bowl or something to mix the flour in.

To begin, cook the sausage in a pan and season with black pepper, red pepper flakes and the herbs. I did not list salt because between the cheese and the sausage, the soup had a lot of flavor. Once the sausage is cooked, scoop the meat out leaving the fat and oil in the pan (see why this isn’t light?). If you like less sausage then you can definitely use some of it for another dish (I did). Saute the onion, garlic, some more herbs and potatoes in the same pan for about 8 – 10 minutes or until the potatoes feel tender but not soft. Pour in your broth and kale  and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, add the sausage and turn the heat to a simmer. Stir flour into the milk. I didn’t want mine to be very thick so I only used a little bit but if you want something thicker you could make adjustments.

Always taste and if you want more heat then add more red pepper flakes! I finished the soup with some shaved Parmesan cheese. Serve hot! C’est si yum!


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