Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 30 mins | Total Time: 40 mins | Servings: 6
I love this copycat version more of the Classic zuppa toscana soup. Conveniently throw this together in your slow cooker at home and serve topped with crumbled bacon.
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground spicy Italian sausage (or use mild)
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons flour (or cornstarch)
32 ounces of chicken stock
1 c. heavy cream
1/2 bunch kale (a couple of handfuls) de-stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
8 slices bacon, diced (divided)
Pinch of red pepper flakes – optional
Salt and pepper, to taste
How to make Copycat Zuppa Toscana
Step 1: Into a hot large dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot on medium-high heat, drizzle the oil. Add the sausage and cook until brown, crumbling the sausage as it cooks. Then, drain well and transfer to a plate.
Step 2: In the bow-empty pot, fry the bacon until crisp. To the plate with the sausage, transfer the bacon. Drain the grease, but, 1-1 1/2 tablespoons of bacon grease.
Step 3: Saute the onion in the bacon grease in the same pot for about 5 minutes. At the last minute, add the garlic. Over the onion and garlic, sprinkle the flour. Stir well. Then, add the chicken stock, stirring as you pour. Toss in the potatoes and bring everything to a boil.
Step 4: For about 15 minutes, gently boil the mixture until the potatoes are tender.
Step 5: Once the potatoes are fork-tender, add the cooked sausage, most of the bacon, heavy cream, and kale. Stir well and continue to cook for another 15 minutes until the kale has wilted.
Step 6: If desired, season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Before serving, top with the rest of the bacon. Enjoy!
TO MAKE IN THE CROCKPOT:
Brown the sausage in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Drain when done.
In the same skillet, fry the bacon. Then, transfer to a plate.
Saute the onion and minced garlic in the same skillet until slightly cooked.
To the bottom of a slow cooker, add the sausage, onion, and garlic. Then, add the peeled potatoes. Pour in the chicken stock and water (if needed), completely covering the potatoes and sausage.
Cover with the lid and set to cook for 5 to 6 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on high.
Combine the heavy cream and cornstarch or flour until well mixed. Then, add this to the slow cooker along with kale. Stir well.
Put the lid on and continue to cook for 30 minutes on high or until the soup has thickened a little.
Season according to taste. Before serving, top with bacon.
TO MAKE IN THE INSTANT POT:
To saute, set a 6-quart Instant Pot. Drizzle with olive oil, then add the Italian sausage. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often, until the sausage is a little browned. When done, drain the excess grease.
Next, add the bacon and cook until crispy. To a plate, transfer the bacon to a slotted spoon.
In the same pan, saute the onion and garlic for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often until the onions are tender.
Add the cooked sausage. Pour in the chicken broth, then add the potatoes.
Press the manual setting. Adjust the pressure to high and set it to cook for 5 minutes. Do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes when the timer is up, followed by a controlled quick release. Open the lid when the pin drops.
Combine the flour/cornstarch and heavy cream until well-mixed. Add this to the pot along with kale. Stir well. If desired, season to taste.
Before serving, garnish with bacon.
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