Zuppa Toscana Soup

source: cookingclassy.blogspot.com

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2 tsp olive oil
1 lb Italian Sausage (casings removed if necessary)
4 oz bacon (about 5 slices), diced into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces
1 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1 small onion)
3 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 1/2 lbs Russet potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed then sliced into halves, halves diced into 1/8 to 1/6-inch slices
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp salt, then to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups half and half
1 cup lightly packed kale, chopped into bite size pieces
finely shredded Romano cheese for serving, optional


1. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Crumble sausage into 1-inch pieces and add to saucepan.

2. Cook sausage, stirring occasionally until cooked through. Drain sausage onto a plate or baking dish lined with paper towels leaving 1 tsp fat in pan, set sausage aside. Add diced bacon (being sure to separate pieces from each other if you stacked them when slicing) to fat in saucepan, return to heat and saute 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add diced onions to bacon in saucepan and saute mixture until bacon is cooked through (not crisp) and onions are tender, about 5 minutes longer.

3. Add chicken broth, water, sliced potatoes, sugar, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Bring soup just to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and stir in half and half and kale. Cover saucepan and simmer 25 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are very tender. Use a spoon or ladle to remove excess fat from top of soup if desired. Serve warm topped with Romano cheese.

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