Thursday, December 11, 2014

Zuppa Toscana

Baby it's cold outside!

I am cold naturally cold natured but these colder than normal temperatures lately have got me cranking up my electric blanket.  (Yes, believe it or not - it's cold in Atlanta!)

I've been walking around with my jacket on in the house, building fires in the fireplace and doing jumping jacks in the livingroom just to try and keep warm.

It's the kind of cold that can only be reversed from the inside out.  No matter how many pairs of fuzzy socks or warm scarves I put on, I still can't seem to raise my body temperature.   This kind of cold has to be warmed from the inside out.

Sipping a steaming cup of hot coffee or filling my tummy with a warm, hearty soup seems to be the only way to warm my chilly self. 

This zuppa toscana is exactly what the doctor meteorologist ordered to guard myself against this cold weather.  It's is warm and satisfying and it will definitely warm you from the inside out. 

Zuppa Toscana
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cups baby spinach (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.

Add Italian sausage to the skillet and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.

Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

 Stir in sausage.

Stir in heavy cream until heated through, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Serve immediately, garnished with bacon.

If this soup looks familiar, it's because it's on the menu at Olive Garden.  I modified the recipe slightly and I took out the spinach (because I knew that my family wouldn't eat it).  It is super easy to make and it is perfect for cold winter days.   I hope that you enjoy.

Stay warm friends.


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