I have tried quite a few different recipes that state they are a Zuppa Toscana Copy Cat but none of them had much flavor and while they were close I set out to make a soup that is Zuppa Toscana.
- 2 (32 ounce) kitchen basics chicken stock (don't substitute with broth) or 2 quarts homemade chicken stock (don't substitute with broth)
- 3 pieces bacon
- 1 large onion white, diced fine
- 3 -4 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bunch swiss chard or 1 bunch kale, cut into bite size pieces
- 2⁄3 cup cream or 2⁄3 cup half-and-half cream
- 6 cups water
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground aniseed
- 1⁄2-1 teaspoon salt, depending on taste
- 1 dash red pepper flakes
- black pepper
- Bring chicken stock and water to a light boil and add potatoes.
- In a skillet (preferably cast iron or enameled cast iron) cook bacon until somewhat done and remove (but do not add bacon to the soup, save for a BLT or something).
- Sauté the onion in the bacon rendering until almost caramelized (golden color).
- Remove and put in boiling stock.
- In the same skillet add olive oil and cook Italian sausage (with casings removed).
- Add garlic with the sausage and cook until sausage is done and the consistency of ground hamburger meat.
- Add mixture to the stock.
- By this time check to see if potatoes are cooked by trying to squish them on the side of the stock pot.
- When they are done reduce heat and add cream and Swiss chard, salt, anise, red pepper, black pepper.
- Serve with garlic bread or corn bread (or even better an herbed Parmesan corn bread).
Delicious! I looked a lot of recipes over before settling on this one because of Chef Wahoo's interesting flavoring ingredients and technique. I did use the anise seed but next time I will also add the same amount of fennel seed (or maybe even twice as much). We love fennel and since it is the dominant spice in Italian sausage, I expect it will be a natural fit.
I agree! This is a great replica and a family favorite. This recipe has gotten my family to enjoy kale. I now buy it and put it in other recipes. The ingredients freeze well and can be placed in a pot or slow cooker to cook for dinner.
Finally someone fixed the other recipes! There is def fennel and def red pepper flakes in the original soup! I added the juice of an entire lemon bc I thought it needed some acidity. I also did it all in 1 pot and used bacon grease instead of making the bacon. This makes a lot so I chop up the kale and add it to each bowl as we eat it so it doesn't get soggy. I like it green and crisp tender. I also only added 2 c. of water and was going to add more later but it didnt need it. It still made about a gallon.