Zuppa Toscana Soup

2 small brown, handmade bowls sit on top of yellow linen napkins on a weathered wooden table top. There is a small pile of toasted baguette slices in the middle of the table, a small Dutch oven that is also filled with the soup. A bottle of chardonnay is also sitting on the table and a woman's hand is reaching into the image and she is picking up a wine glass filled with the chardonnay.

Since I have vegetarians at most of our gatherings, I like to make a little something for them too when I'm hosting - my Pasta e Fagioli Soup pairs perfectly with this Zuppa Toscana soup and J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay as well.



1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage

3/4 teaspoon crushed Aleppo pepper, or if you like it really spicy red pepper flakes

4 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 large white onion, diced

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 quarts chicken broth

4 medium sized Russet potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into cubes

1 cup heavy cream

1 bunch Tuscan or Lacinato kale, ribs removed, leaves sliced into ribbons

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

To serve: pair giant bowls of this Zuppa Toscana with crusty bread and chilled glasses of J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay


In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat cook the Italian sausage and Aleppo pepper. Cook until crumbling and browned, no longer pink, about 10-15 minutes. Drain any excess grease and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium. Cook the bacon in the same Dutch oven until crisp, about 12 minutes. Drain, leaving a tablespoon of drippings in the bottom of the pan with the bacon. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. 

Pour the broth into the Dutch oven with the bacon and onion mixture; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage; heat through. Mix the shredded kale into the soup right before serving. One the kale is wilted add the nutmeg. Serve immediately.


Not a fan of the heat?! That's ok! Simply use mild Italian sausage and omit the pepper flakes.



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