This is a copy cat recipe for my favorite soup from Olive Garden, Zuppa Toscana, which literally means "Tuscan soup." It is basically an Italian sausage and kale soup, but I added some red Swiss chard to give it some nice color. Also, I did 2 lbs of sausage, which ended up being a little much, so I suggest doing either 1.5 lbs or even just 1 lb, unless you like your soup super meaty & hearty.
1 lb mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1 lb hot italian sausage, casings removed
5 red potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1/2 bunch kale, cut into 1 inch strips
1/2 bunch red Swiss chard
2 cartons (32 oz each) chicken broth
1 cup cream (I used half-and-half)
Shredded parmesan, for garnish
In a large skillet, brown sausage. Break it up as it cooks.
Set aside sausage in a large bowl. Heat drippings and add onion.
Cook until soft and brown. Add garlic and stir well. Transfer to soup pot. Top with potatoes. Pour in both cartons of broth and bring to a boil. Turn down to medium and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes.
Ladle out about half of the potatoes and put into blender. Puree until smooth, add back to soup.
Add cooked sausage. Stir.
Simmer for another 10 minutes.
Add kale, chard, and cream.
Heat through, about 5 minutes.
Ladle into bowls, garnish with shredded parmesan. Serve with crusty bread or breadsticks.