Super-Delicious Zuppa Toscana

If you love the Zuppa Toscana at your local chain Italian restaurant, you will adore this soup. The rich soup is made with Italian sausage, potatoes, cream, and crushed red pepper. It is truly satisfying and irresistible. Tuck into this on a cold day and you are sure to be warmed all the way down to your toes.
INGREDIENTS:

1 pound bulk mild Italian sausage (if you use the hot Bob Evans sausage don’t use the crushed red pepper flakes)
1 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I use the Wal-Mart brand bacon pieces by the croutons)
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 (13.75 ounce) cans chicken broth
6 potato, thinly sliced
1 cup heavy cream (I use evaporated milk)
1/4 bunch fresh spinach, tough stems removed (I sometimes use Kale as that’s what they use at the restaurant)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Cook the bacon in the same Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain, leaving a few tablespoons of drippings with the bacon in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Stir in the onions and garlic; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Pour the chicken broth into the Dutch oven with the bacon and onion mixture; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage; heat through. Mix the spinach into the soup just before serving.

NOTES:

You can substitute cauliflower for the potatoes for a lower carb diet and it is just as delicious.

Try using 2-4 russett potatoes (depending on the size) sliced thin and they hold their shape and do not come out mushy.

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