Sunday Supper: Italian Sausage and Potato Soup with Parmesan Tomato Bread Bites

In an attempt to continue to expand my culinary horizons, I’m challenging myself to try a new recipe each week.
I’ll relate my triumphs and failures here, just in time for your Sunday supper.
food collage

On the menu this week: Italian Sausage and Potato Soup and Parmesan Tomato Bread Bites. Yum! 

I thought about trying to play my Italian Sausage and Potato Soup recipe off as one adapted from some very authentic source–something handed down from an Italian grandmother who cooked it over great bubbling pots and ladled it out for tables of vineyard workers. (Apparently, my idea of Italy is sepia-toned.) It is actually inspired by something a bit closer than the old country—this is my version of Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana (by way of Mom’s super-easy potato soup). And holy-mary-mother-of-god, this soup is good. And then, to take dinner from so-good to truly extraordinary, I’m making quick-and-easy Parmesan Tomato Bread Bites.

Dinner is so almost on the table.

Italian Sausage and Potato Soup

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 large russet potatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup cream (fat free, half and half, heavy whipping cream—whatever you are comfortable with.
  • 3-4 bacon rashers
  • 1/2-1 lb Italian sausage links—hot or mild, whatever makes you happy—cut into 1 inch chunks (Your kitchen scissors will cut thawed sausages much more easily than a knife.)
  • 2 cups of chicken broth or bouillon cubes
  • Kale, about 6 ounces. (Don’t fret if your grocery, like mine, only sells this in larger bunches. It’s cheap, and you can make kale chips with the leftovers!)

Here’s what you do:

  • Wash and dice veggies: potatoes should be in one inch-ish chunks; onion and garlic smaller
  • Put veggies, 2 cups of chicken broth and 4 cups of water on stove, simmer for about 20 minutes (or until potatoes are done.) (If you are using bouillon cubes, don’t forget to add additional water. Not that I’ve ever done that.) (Ahem.)
  • While all that is simmering, in a heavy skillet fry bacon until crumbly, crumble it and set aside.
  • After you’re done with the bacon, rid skillet of most of the bacon grease and brown the sausage pieces. (Please be careful. Obviously. I can supply pictures of the cooking scar if you an need additional reminder.)
  • Back to the simmering potato pot:  when your potatoes are done, grab your potato masher or a large fork or spatula and mash about half of the potatoes. Leave plenty of chunks, we’re not going for a smooth puree, it’s more of a chunky potato soup base.
  • Stir crumbled bacon and sausage bits into potato soup base
    • If you are making the bread bites, get them in the in the oven now.
  • Simmer for 10 more minutes
  • Add cream, simmer for another 5 minutes (just to heat back up after adding cream)
  • Garnish each bowl with a handful of finely torn kale leaves

Parmesan Tomato Bread Bites

Here’s what you need:

  • a can of crescent rolls
  • about a cup of spaghetti sauce
  • 1 tbsp herbs (whatever mix is in your cabinet: I used minced onion, Italian herbs and garlic)
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan

Here’s what you do:

  • mix herbs into spaghetti sauce
  • unroll crescent rolls, spoon a thin layer of sauce on dough triangles
  • sprinkle with shredded parmesan
  • fold dough into envelopes, sprinkle more cheese on top
  • cook according to package instructions

And dinner is served! Make a salad, pour a glass of wine, and turn on a good movie. You totally deserve it.

2 thoughts on “Sunday Supper: Italian Sausage and Potato Soup with Parmesan Tomato Bread Bites”

  1. I make the Zupa Tascana also. It is really good. I can’t get Kale here so I chop fresh spinach and throw it in the pot at the very end. It turns out great and yummy. It all rewarms in the microwave just fine too. You can also mix a few red pepper flakes in your meat before you add it to give a little more spice if you don’t have very spicy sausage, but be careful not to add too many or you will have to down several glasses of milk with your food. (and yes I know that from experience too!)

    1. Ooh- that’s a good tip on the pepper flakes–I think I’ll use the mild sausages next time and spice them up a bit to get it to a medium… the hot are really a bit hard to handle sometimes. And do you always use sausage? I’ve considered just making it with ground turkey (adding pepper flakes and other spices) to make it a little healthier, but so far I’ve always just gone the easy route with the sausages.

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