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January 13, 2017

Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana is a comforting, classic Italian soup made with sausage, bacon, and heavy cream. This lighter version cuts down on the fat by using half and half and chicken sausage. The spices and no-salt broth reduce sodium content, making for a hearty, heart-healthy soup. Serve alongside a large entrée salad topped with lean protein.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Makes: 8 servings

½ lb. Italian Chicken Sausage (hot or mild, such as Al Fresco brand), removed from casings
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
One 15-ounce can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
3 cups no-salt added chicken broth
1 cup water
2 cups half and half
3 medium red potatoes (1.5-1.75 lb.)
1 bunch (8 oz.) kale, chopped
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
Freshly cracked black pepper (optional)

1. Squeeze the sausage out of its casing into a large pot. Sauté over medium heat, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. The sausage should contain enough fat to keep it from sticking, if not add a touch of olive oil. It’s okay if a small amount browns on the bottom of the pot.
2. While the sausage is cooking, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add them to the pot and sauté until the onions are softened. The moisture from the onions should help dissolve any browned bits of sausage off the bottom of the pot.
3. Drain and rinse the can of beans. Add the beans, smoked paprika, chicken broth, one cup water, and half and half to the pot. Place a lid on the pot and let it come up to a simmer over medium heat.
4. While the pot is heating, dice each potato into 1 inch cubes. Add the potatoes to the pot along with the chopped kale. The kale will fill the pot when it’s first added, but the heat from the liquid will wilt it within a few minutes. Stir it occasionally to help the wilting process.
5. Let the pot simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Season with red pepper flakes and freshly cracked black pepper if desired.

Nutritional Information per Serving:
Calories: 247 cal, Fat: 10g, Carbohydrates: 26g, Fiber: 5g, Protein: 13g, Sodium: 435 mg
Adapted from:

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