Zuppa Toscana–A Little Taste of Italy

My wife and kids love this soup. It’s spicy, colorful, and fresh. Benjamin and I share some good memories of visits to Italy as we prepare this very easy-to-make soup. Goes great with crusty bread and stores well in the refrigerator for up to a week. This recipe makes 12 servings.
– 1 pound of Italian sausage or spicy breakfast sausage
– 3/4 pound of bacon (about 12 strips)
– 5 medium sized Russet potatoes. Halve lengthwise and cut into 1/4 inch half moons.
– 2 teaspoons olive oil
– 1 large white onion
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 1/2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes (omit or cut back if you used spicy sausage)
– 3 garlic cloves chopped
– 3 quarts of chicken stock
– 1 bunch of fresh kale
– 1 cup of heavy whipping cream

1. Brown sausage and set aside, patting off excess grease.
2. Fry bacon crispy and set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon grease.
3. In a large pot, saute onion in olive oil and reserved bacon grease until soft. Add garlic and saute another 2-3 minutes.
4. Add chicken stock to onions and garlic. Add reserved sausage and the cut up potatoes. Add pepper flakes and salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes.
5. After 20 minutes, add kale, bacon, and heavy whipping cream. Return to a simmer and heat for another 10 minutes.
6. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.