Spicy Zuppa Toscana

It’s National Kale Day! Let’s celebrate with a wonderful, slow-cooker recipe for Spicy Zuppa Toscana! Packed with kale, Italian sausage, onions, garlic, celery and thick chunks of potatoes, this hearty soup will be ready to welcome you home from a long day at the office!

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When the weather gets colder, this soup one of our go-to favorites. It’s easy to put together in the morning and takes just a few minutes to finish assembling after work. And by assembling I mean, whisk in cream, plenty of kale, some fresh herbs and spices, then let the soup simmer another 15 minutes until you’re ready to eat!

In our house, I teasingly say “I’m working on dinner ALL DAY LONG today!” when there is something in the crock-pot!  It’s kind of running joke.  My husband will say the same thing when he’s the one who puts together dinner.  We can’t help it!  We love the crock-pot. Isn’t it nice to toss a few ingredients together in the morning and walk away, knowing a delicious dinner will be waiting for you later? We think so!

Spicy Zuppa Toscana

For this recipe, I used Johnsonville Spicy Italian Sausage (19 oz pkg).  Remove the casings from the sausages and pull the meat apart into small, almost mini-meatball size pieces. Brown the sausage meat in a non-stick skillet.  Drain the fat and pour the meat into the crock pot.

For the potatoes, I used three rather large Russets.  You can peel them if you wish, or leave the skins on for a more rustic look.  I like the look of the skins on for this dish (plus, less work to do in the morning!)  Scrub them really well and cut into 1 inch dice. Toss them in the crock pot with the sausage.

Add 3 TBLS minced garlic.

Take a softball size onion and cut it in half, then cut each half into quarters. Toss the onion into the pot with the rest of the ingredients.

Thinly slice three stalks of celery and add them to the pot as well!

Cover the meat, potatoes, garlic, onion and celery with 32 oz of chicken broth. It should cover all the ingredients completely. If you have a smaller crock-pot, you may need to add a little water to make sure everything is covered.  I’ve never had to do that with mine, but be aware, just in case!

Cover and cook on low for at least 6 hours.

When you’re almost ready to eat, remove the cover from the crock-pot, stir in 1 cup heavy cream, 2 TBLS fresh thyme leaves, 1 TBLS oregano, 2 tsp minced parsley leaves, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, and 2 cups of chopped Organic Girl Baby Kale!   It may take a minute for all that gorgeous Kale to wilt down into the soup.  Once the kale is wilted, cover the crock pot and turn it on high for 10-15 minutes.  Use that time to make your salad, set the table and catch up with the kids!

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After about 15 minutes, remove the lid again, give the soup a good stir and you’re ready to eat!

Spicy Zuppa Toscana

I’ve seen several versions of this recipe online, many copy-cat recipes from Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana. This recipe is a bit different from those. I use different herbs and believe it or not, I don’t add bacon.(*GASP* What? No bacon?!?!) Yes, it’s true. You don’t need bacon with this recipe. The spicy italian sausage and the Kale gives this dish plenty of flavor!

Enjoy this crock-pot version of Spicy Zuppa Toscana!  And when you make it at home, don’t forget to tell your family you worked all day long to make this soup!!

Special thanks to Organic Girl Good Clean Greens for allowing me to share National Kale Day with them, and providing a beautiful package of Baby Kale in order to make this dish!

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YUM!!

Find more of our favorite Organic Girl recipes here: Grilled Chicken and Peach Salad, Quick and Easy Margherita Pizza, and my favorite Baby Kale-sadillas!

Have a happy and healthy October!

Spicy Zuppa Toscana
Ingredients
  • 1 (19 oz) pkg, Johnsonville Spicy Italian Sausage
  • 3 large russet potatoes, diced
  • 3 TBLS minced garlic
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 TBLS fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 TBLS fresh oregano
  • 2 tsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups, packed Organic Girl Baby Kale, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Remove casings from the sausages and pull the meat apart into small pieces.
  2. Brown the sausage meat in a non-stick skillet.
  3. Drain the fat and pour sausage into the crock pot.
  4. Scrub the potatoes well, dry thoroughly and cut into 1 inch dice.
  5. Place potatoes in the crock pot with the sausage.
  6. Add 3 TBLS minced garlic to the pot.
  7. Cut the onion in half, then cut each half into quarters.
  8. Place onion in crock pot with the rest of the ingredients.
  9. Thinly slice three stalks of celery and add them to the pot as well!
  10. Cover the meat, potatoes, and vegetables with the entire box of chicken broth.
  11. If needed, add a little water to make sure everything is submerged.
  12. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
  13. minutes before you’re ready to eat, remove cover, stir in heavy cream, herbs, seasonings and chopped Organic Girl Baby Kale!
  14. Return cover, switch crock-pot to high heat and let simmer 10-15 minutes or until Kale is completely wilted.
  15. Adjust seasonings and serve immediately!
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