Zeke and I had a busy busy day. We cleaned the whole house. AND we raked the front yard. AND we went grocery shopping. AND THEN we build a cat-house with Daddy and raked some more in the backyard. (I've been starting to feel bad for our "outside" cat and Josh, intelligent man, decided to build it a little house so it would be able to get out of the weather before I brought it into ours)
So when dinner time came around we were hungry. And rather cold. So soup it was.
This particular soup I've been making for 2 or 3 years. It started as a desperate attempt to copy Olive Garden's Zuppa Tuscana which I ADORE. After many many attempts and adjustments, it's still not an exact copy. There is definitely something I am missing but cant put my finger on. But its still an excellent soup.
I call it simply Tuscan Soup. Because naming things in italian when neither you or the named item is italian is a little presumptuous if you ask me (I'm looking at you Starbucks).
Start by cooking some italian sausage. You can use ground sausage or, like I did, sausages which you will cook and then cut up. (You dont need nearly this much sausage...I just cooked the whole package because 2 sausages sitting in the fridge already cooked will get taken to work and eaten while 2 raw ones will just sit in the fridge until the day I go "wait...when did I buy this sausage? Is is bad?")
While your sausage cooks boil a box of chicken broth, 2 large russet (or 4 red) potatoes (chopped), 1/4 of an onion (chopped), 2 cloves of garlic (crushed), and if you like, 1/2 cup of dry wine for 15 minutes. You probably need to add some water to have enough liquid and that is fine.
A note about the wine: I usually dont add the wine because we usually dont have any available. It tastes great without it. But if Josh is in the mood for wine that night, or if there is a bottle on the counter already open then I will add it because it makes the taste a LOT closer to Olive Garden's soup. Although if you use red wine your soup is a bit pink and funny looking (albeit delicious). We NEVER have white wine in the house so I've never actually tried it, but I would suggest a dry white.
Add your sausage along with some salt and pepper and boil an additional 15 minutes. Finally add some ripped up Kale (it's a kind of cabbage, it's easily found in the grocery store, and it's delicious so stop your whining) and about 2 cups of heavy cream and you are ready to eat!