Have you ever went out to eat and had a dish that just stuck with you? I mean, one you couldn’t forget no matter how hard you tried. This is that dish for me. It’s a soup with spicy Italian sausage, potatoes, and creamy broth. Can I just tell you, I loved it and had to recreate it. I decided to change a couple of things making it my own, and now Steve and I have it all the time. This is my Tuscan Soup (Zuppa Toscana) With Homemade Parmesan Croutons.
I’m going to start by grabbing a few fresh herbs from my Hanging Herb Garden.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) Dutch oven, 1 (3-quart) saucepot, potato peeler, 2 medium-size bowls, 1 large bowl, 1 mesh sieve
2 pounds of sweet Italian sausage, if link style, casings removed
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 large red potatoes, parboiled, peeled and diced (approx. 2-inch dice)
2 tablespoons of fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups of frozen corn, thawed
1 (15-ounce) package of frozen cut leaf spinach, thawed, excess water removed
1 large white onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
6 cups of chicken broth, unsalted
1 cup of heavy cream
Start by adding the potatoes into a pot, cover with cold water, and bring up to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt. Boil the potatoes for 10 minutes then drain. After the potatoes have cooled down enough to handle, peel and dice the potatoes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
While the potatoes are parboiling, drain and squeeze the excess water from the spinach and place into a bowl. Next, dice the onion, seed and dice the bell pepper, and mince the garlic. Transfer to a plate and set aside. In another bowl add the thawed corn.
Next, over medium-high heat add a tablespoon of olive oil along with the sweet Italian sausage into a heavy bottom pot. Using the back of a wooden spoon break up the sausage. Continue cooking until the sausage is no longer any pink, about 10 minutes.
Adjust the heat to medium, add the diced onion, bell pepper, minced garlic, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, stir to combine. Remove the oregano leaves, from their stems, roughly chop up the leaves, set aside.
After the veggies have softened, about 5 minutes, add the fresh oregano, stir to combine.
Add the chicken broth and thawed corn kernels. Bring the soup up to a boil then reduce the heat to medium, simmer for 30 minutes. At this point, I like to use a large spoon to skim off any ecess fat that may have accumulated on top.
After 30 minutes add the diced potatoes, heavy cream, and spinach. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Turn the heat off, soup’s ready.
I like to ladle a good helping of my Tuscan Soup (Zuppa Toscana) into a porcelain soup bowl and top with my Homemade Ciabatta Croutons.