Have I got a stupendous meal in a bowl for you!!! It’s a rendition of the Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana Soup! Shh…I think it’s even better than the Olive Garden… Even though I may be biased, you be the judge!
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
4-6 oz bacon, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups low sodium chicken broth (organic)
1 cup water
2 medium russet potatoes, skin on and washed
1 tsp sugar
salt and black pepper to taste
2 3/4 cups half & half
1 small package of frozen spinach, thawed
1 cup finely shredded Romano cheese for serving
Heat Dutch oven or large stockpot over medium heat. Add diced bacon, onion, and minced garlic, let cook until onions become translucent and bacon is cooked (NOT CRUNCHY).
Once cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel and set aside. Meanwhile, you will add the sausage to the stockpot and brown over medium heat (about 5-7 minutes). Add the bacon, onion, and garlic back in the stockpot with the sausage.
Wash potatoes and slice lengthwise, slice each half lengthwise again and then slice each portion crosswise into thin slices approximately 1/8″ thick.
Add the chicken broth, water, potatoes, spinach, sugar, salt, & pepper. Bring soup just to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. (Optional…remove excess fat from the surface… I did not remove very much since we like it for flavor…unhealthy, I know.)
Stir in the half & half, season with more salt & pepper if needed.
Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of shredded Romano cheese, garnish with seasoned croutons (we used garlic bread).