Zuppa Toscana Soup

Zuppa Toscana Soup 

This is one of the tastiest, most comforting soups on a chilly day! It's packed with slices of tender russet potatoes, salty Italian sausage and bacon, fresh kale and a rich and creamy broth. Everyone will want more!
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Ingredients:
2 tsp olive oil
1 lb Italian Sausage (casings removed if necessary)
4 oz bacon (about 4 slices), diced into small pieces*
1 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1 small onion)
3 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 1/2 lbs Russet potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed then sliced into halves, halves diced into 1/6-inch slices
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups half and half
1 1/2 cups packed chopped kale
Finely shredded Romano cheese for serving, optional
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Instructions:
Heat olive oil in a large non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Crumble sausage into 1-inch pieces and add to saucepan.

Cook sausage, stirring occasionally until cooked through. Drain sausage onto a plate or baking dish lined with paper towels, set sausage aside.

Add diced bacon to saucepan, return to heat and saute 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add diced onions and saute mixture until bacon is cooked through and onions are translucent, about 3 - 5 minutes longer.

Add chicken broth, water, sliced potatoes, sugar, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Bring soup just to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and stir in cooked sausage.

Cover saucepan and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are nearly tender, about 10 - 15 minutes.

Add in kale then simmer until potatoes are soft and kale is tender, about 5 - 10 minutes longer.

Stir in half and half and warm through. Use a spoon or ladle to remove excess fat from top of soup if desired. Serve warm topped with Romano cheese.

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