I love soup. I am slightly sad that the weather is (slowly) starting to warm up, but only because that means soup season is just about over.
I created this soup partly based on the limitations of what someone would eat, and then realized it is very similar to Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana (like the copy cat recipe found here).
Of course I didn’t really follow the recipe. At all. Just used the same ingredients, give or take a few. I didn’t pay close attention to quantities, but roughly this is what I tossed in:
2-3 C golden potatoes, 1/4 inch cubes… cook in boiling water until soft, but not falling apart
5 Bratwurst sausages, lining removed… break into chunks and cook all the way through in saute pan (I continued to break them up a bit as they cooked, but left some bigger chunks, too)
1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped… saute with olive oil in soup pot
4 C chicken broth (homemade, so it’s a bit more concentrated than store bought) plus 4 C water… add to soup pot after onion is translucent and partially caramelized, bring to a boil
1 bunch kale (6 C?), half-inch to 1-inch pieces, stem removed (seems like a lot, but it cooks down)… add to boiling onion/stock/water in soup pot in small batches so it can cook down
Once kale is cooked down (8-10 minutes), add cooked potatoes, sausage
4-5 radishes, sliced… add to soup
Take 1/4 C of soup liquid and use to deglaze saute pan used for cooking the sausage–then return to soup
(This is where I really experimented…) Take another 1/4 C of liquid and put in saute pan– add 4 T flour and 1/4 milk to create a loose roux over low heat, constantly mixing with a whisk… add another 1/2 C milk and more flour if needed… add to soup and stir in
To serve, I added some fresh cracked pepper. I found the salt from the chicken broth and the sausage to be adequate–but I’ve also been cutting back on salt so you might find it needs more to suit your taste.
I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty this is! Next time (because yes, this will be made again) I think I’ll go with little red potatoes instead of the yellow (for more color as well as nutrition) and I’ll play around with the milk/roux… maybe even leave it out altogether. And I will cook the sausage in the soup pot first, then add in the onion to cook. That way I can get all the good flavors from the sausage without needing to deglaze–AND less pans to clean! Win, win!