The weather in Georgia has been on the warm side lately, but this morning was so chilly I think I really heard autumn knocking on our door, telling us fall had finally arrived. And so I bring you a tasty, cold-weather meal!
A couple months ago my husband and I ate at Olive Garden. He ordered a delicious pasta meal and I choose their soup and salad combo. The second I tasted their Zuppa Tuscana I knew I wanted more, so I told him right then and there that I was going to learn how to make it at home.
I scoured the web for a good recipe and found one that looked almost identical to Olive Garden’s version, I tweaked it to make it a little healthier. Not only does this taste better than the restaurant’s version (my husband even said so!), but it freezes well. (Note: when you unfreeze it or even take it out of the fridge then next day, the half and half and water separate a little—don’t worry! Just nuke it in the microwave for a couple minutes and then mix it all together; it’ll be fine, I promise.)
1 pound ground Italian turkey sausage
1½ tsp crushed red peppers
1 large diced white onion
4 Tbsp bacon pieces
5 minced garlic cloves
10 cups water
5 cubes of chicken bouillon
1 cup fat-free half and half
1 pound sliced Russet potatoes
2 cups of chopped kale*, stems removed
Sauté Italian turkey sausage and crushed red pepper in large pot. Drain excess fat; refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients. In same pan, sauté bacon, onions, and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 minutes or until onions are soft. Add chicken bouillon and water to pot; heat until it starts to boil. Add sliced potatoes; cook until soft—about 30 minutes. Add fat-free half and half; cook until thoroughly heated. Stir in sausage and kale; heat thoroughly.
*someone left a comment that reminded me of something else I wanted to post! If you’re not sure what to do with your leftover kale, try making kale chips. They’re unbelievably delicious (really, I didn’t believe they would taste good, but some days I can’t eat them fast enough), and so much healthier for you than potato chips. Try them out! Here’s a good recipe: Oven Love’s Kale Chips