When I was living in California I was always in tank tops and a light blanket when I’d go to bed at night. Here in Washington, for the past few months I’ve been bundled up in long sleeve shirts, thick pajama pants, socks and three (yes, three!) heavy comforters. I can’t go outside most days without boots on because I feel like my feet are going to snap off from frostbite, and some mornings when I get in the car my teeth chatter so hard you’d think I was one of those wind-up sets of toy teeth.
Needless to say, it’s been cold.
So to cope with the cold, I eat soup. Lately, specifically, the soup of choice has been Zuppa Toscana. It’s one of my favorite recipes and also happens to be created by my good friend Nancy. In addition to being an awesome wedding photographer, Nancy also really knows her way around a kitchen. She’s always whipping up a home cooked meal, and one day when I was over, she fed me this soup and I basically snatched the recipe straight out of her hands. Of course, by her hands I mean her blog.
The soup is basically comprised of three main ingredients: sausage, potatoes, and kale. I don’t think I’d ever even had kale before having it with this soup. I used to consider it a scary ingredient. You know, kind of like lamb or shallots or turmeric. It was just a little bit outside of my comfort zone. But when I finally did have it, I realized that loved it! Then of course I had no choice but to make the soup for my own family, and afterwards my dad may have declared it as one of his top three soups, ever.
I can’t say that I disagree.
From Nancy Orozco’s blog here
- 2-3 bunches of kale, rinsed, chop to medium sized bites
- 12 whole red potatos, sliced thin… about 1/4 inch
- 1/2 whole onion, chopped
- 1 pound Italian sausage, sweet or mild
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 5-6 cups low sodium chicken broth or stock
- Fresh or dried oregano
- Salt & pepper to taste
Clean the kale, rinse, when cutting… only cut everything, but the stem. The stem can be a little bitter. Personal preference, experiment.
Boil sliced potatoes until tender. Drain and set aside.
In a large pot, add olive oil, onion, saute for a few minutes. Add sausage, break apart and stir 3-5 minutes, add garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano and cook together for a few minutes. Add chicken broth or stock. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Now add potatos and kale at the end. Taste for salt & pepper (I used 1 teaspoon for salt & 1/4 teaspoon for pepper) and let simmer another 5 minutes. Serve with favorite bread and enjoy!
Serving size varies, 4 nice big bowls or 6 smaller portions.
Image and recipe via Nancy Orozco