We love soup in our house. Especially during those early spring late winter months. So now is the perfect time. I also love it because on nights like tonight when I have two kids at baseball practice (yes outside in the cold after 4 pm) I can come home and enjoy something warm and hearty with very little extra work. I can even prepare the sausage the night before and set all of this up in the crock-pot and have it ready for when we come home. GENIUS! It is a rather simple recipe to follow, and my kids love that it is just like the soup we all enjoy at Olive Garden when we go as a family. Here is a simple and easy-to-follow recipe for at home. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
What You Will Need:
- 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, slightly crushed**
- 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
What You Will Do:
- 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 to bacon in saucepan 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.