This is a recipe for Olive Garden's famous and well-loved Zuppa Toscana Soup. Most copy-cat recipes I have seen call for heavy cream. This version uses half and half, making it slightly healthier.
1 lb Italian sausage (mild or spicy)
4 strips bacon, chopped (optional)
3 large Russet potatoes, scrubbed clean and cubed (leave peels on)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups kale, chopped
1 (32 oz) box chicken broth
1 quart half and half (can mix heavy cream with milk)
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (may not need if using spicy Italian sausage)
Step 1: Cook Sausage and Bacon
In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, cook the sausage, breaking into small pieces. Drain fat and set aside.
In the same pot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon, breaking into small pieces. Remove and set aside, leaving 2 Tablespoons of bacon fat in the pot (this will be used later to saute the vegetables).