Saturday, December 22, 2007

Mmmmmm...Zuppa Toscana

Aren't you glad it's soup weather? I am. I love soup. I love to eat soup all year but especially when it's cold outside.

My little one and I met our friends for lunch at Olive Garden the other day for soup and salad. Pat and I always get Pasta Fagiole, which I can replicate quite well, and her husband, Jim, always gets Zuppa Toscana, which I have never made but didn't believe it would be hard to do. I was determined to make my own version just so I could have Pat and Jim over for dinner and serve it to them. We love Italian food.

Here is my version:
Michelle's Zuppa Toscana

1 lb. mild Italian sausage, casing removed
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 bag (1 lb.) Southern Style Hashbrowns, frozen
1 can chicken broth
2 cans cream of potato soup
2 cups water
3 cups milk
1 bunch kale, chopped

In stockpot brown sausage, breaking into pieces as you cook. After sausage is browned, add onions and garlic and saute until translucent. Sprinkle flour over sausage mixture and stir to incorporate, cooking for a couple of minutes to get rid of that raw flour taste. Add hashbrowns and all liquids. Simmer 10 minutes. Add kale and simmer until wilted. Mangia!

As per my usual M.O. I'm still working on Christmas gifts but I'm not stressing myself out this year. I'll have a bunch of cookies done and boxed for those "Uh Oh, I Forgot You" gifts. In fact, I'll make more tomorrow, and a bunch of Easy Peasy Fudge as well and maybe some brownies. Yum!

Mele Kalikimaka!

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