A comfort food during cold winter months, this soup is hearty and heart-warming. Italian sausage and bacon (or pancetta even, if you want to get fancy!) in a creamy spicy broth, this soup is a delicious way to introduce your family (or even yourself) to the nutritional powerhouse that is kale. Kale is a seasonal vegetable that I've wasn't introduced to until about two years ago, and since then I've been making an effort to include it in my family's diet. This is a 'gateway' recipe, for people who want to start cooking with kale but haven't enjoyed it in the past. This soup manages to tempt even the steadfast kale-protester! My veggie-suspicious son has named this his "Favorite Meal." I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Gwuinifer's LC "Zuppa Toscana"
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped (or 1/2 c. pancetta, chopped)
- 1 lb. Italian sausage (or four sausages, casings removed)
- 1 head cauliflower, sliced 1/4" thick and broken into bite-sized pieces
- 1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped or diced
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
- 2 T. Chicken bullion paste
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, for serving
Add chopped onions and garlic to the bacon drippings, and cook over medium-high till onions are beginning to soften. Add sausage to pan and brown, breaking up sausage into kidney bean-sized crumbles.
While sausage is browning, bring 8 c. water to a boil in a large pot. Dissolve bullion into pot.
Add cauliflower to skillet with onions/garlic/sausage and cook for about 5 minutes over medium-high to mingle flavors. Add cauliflower mixture to pot, deglazing skillet with a bit of the boiling chicken broth if necessary.
Add kale to pot; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste; add red pepper flakes if using (we like it a bit spicy, so we use about 1/2 t. plus hot Italian sausage).
Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until cauliflower is very tender and kale is bright green and tender. Add cream; stir well and remove from heat.
Top each portion with bacon and a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.