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We awoke to the sound of raindrops and the sweet smell of rain.  After a long dry summer, it is welcome.  Granted, a few months into the rainy season, we may be complaining, but for now, I am so glad to see rain.  The temperature has dropped and it feels like Autumn…my favorite time of the year.  I love everything about Autumn

The minute the temperature drops and there’s a nip in the air, one of the first things I do is drag out the soup pot!  This recipe is for one of our favorites.  Although I’ve never been to Italy (it’s on my bucket list), this soup is from Italy’s Tuscany Central region.  They serve a wonderful version of this soup at the Olive Garden restaurant.  Although we must drive an hour and a half to Eugene to eat at the Olive Garden, occasionally we do just that.  Otherwise, I make it at home – a very close version actually.

Tonight, I’m serving it with Romano Garlic bread from the Lighthouse Bakery.  The macho logger tree farmer picked up a fresh apple pie at Kruse Farms, so dessert will be a fitting ending to this delicious soup!  He also picked up the ingredients to make the last melon fruit medley of the season…complete with several different types of melons and seedless grapes.

 

Zuppa Toscana…Italian Sausage & Potato Soup

1 pound ground Italian sausage

(these were mild Johnsonville Italian sausage links and I removed the casings)

1/2 teaspoon crushed red peppers

(you can add more if you like extra spicy)

1 large white onion, diced

4 tablespoons lean bacon pieces

5-6 small cloves of garlic put through a garlic press = 2 tsp. garlic puree

9 cups water

5 teaspoons of “Better than Boullion” Chicken Base dissolved in 1 cup boiling water

(in addition to the 9 above)

1 cup heavy cream

1 pound sliced or 3 large potatoes (I used Yukon Gold)

1/4 of a bunch of Kale

Seasoned pepper to taste

Salt to taste

Saute the sausage (removed from the casings if you’ve used links) and crushed red pepper together in a large pot.  Drain the excess liquid and place meat on paper towel lined dish.  Place in refrigerator as you prepare the remainder of the soup.

Using the same pan, saute the bacon, onions and garlic over medium heat until the onions are soft – about 15 minutes.

Add the 5 teaspoons Better than Boullion chicken base to the 1 cup boiling water to dissolve.  Add this mixture and the 9 cups of water to the pot.  Heat until it starts to boil.  Add the sliced potatoes and cook until potatoes are soft, about half and hour.

Add the heavy cream and just cook until completely heated. 

Stir in the sausage and the kale.  Let all heat thoroughly.  Taste to adjust salt/pepper. 

 

Everything is here to make the soup except for the 2 tablespoons of lean bacon pieces.  You will be removing the casings from the links to make about 1 pound of Italian sausage.  I notice there are only two Yukon Gold potatoes in this photo,  but I actually used three large ones.  Next time, I think I’ll add a couple more potatoes!

 

Fresh and crisp Kale…delicious in soups.

  

 
 
This is sooo much better than boullion cubes!  Comes in beef and ham base as well.
 
 

Hot and a little spicy with the red pepper flakes. 

Delicious – especially served with garlic bread!

 

 

4 Responses to Italian soup for an Autumn supper…

  • tanna says:

    Oh, that sounds so very good!! I make one that is similar, but uses cheese tortellini instead of potatoes and no cream. Oh, wait, it has white beans, too. Okay, not that similar except for the Italian Sausage, kale and spices. LOL! But, I am SURE because I love that one that I will LOVE this one, too! LOL! Thank you so much. I am going to have to try that better than boullion. I have always just used the broth in the cans or cartons. I would love to find this instead. Thank you again. Blessings ~ tanna

  • acornhollow says:

    It looks wonderful. I made butternut squash risotto with sage too. yummm. the wind is blowing and the rain is falling so fall is here.
    cathy

  • Margy says:

    That looks like a perfect meal for a cool evening at the cabin. I grew Yukon Gold potatoes this year and I have them all stored away ready to go. – Margy

  • Sharon says:

    I love soup for fall and winter evenings and I enjoy the process of making it. I would use turkey sausage and bacon [as we don’t eat pork] but I imagine that the taste would be similar. I have a winter crop of kale which will soon be big enough to pick.
    Re your recipes for lemon or chocolate pudding cake: those were winter favorites when my children were young–you’ve jogged my memory so will have to make them again.

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My Southern Heart...the Stories blog is about my life growing up in the South in the fifties and sixties. It was an amazing time...a time of falling in love, getting married, having a family. A time of history in the making, political unrest, rock and roll. Come along on my life's journey. It's a chronological story, so be sure to start at the beginning. It will make a whole lot more sense that way. Check out: My Southern Heart...the Stories