Tuesday, November 12, 2013

From the DIY Kitchen: Creamy Sausage and Spinach Soup

In my pinning I came across a few copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana recipes (spicy sausage and kale soup.) It definitely piqued my interest - as the weather gets colder I'm finding myself gravitating more and more towards the hearty soups of winter, especially after hearing that we might get some flurries tonight or tomorrow! Plus, we already had almost all of the ingredients to make it. But, I couldn't bring myself to add the 1 or more cups of heavy whipping cream the Pinterest versions called for, so I set out to lighten it up a bit using my old standby chowder recipe and substituting reduced fat pork & chicken Italian sausage for it's full-fat counterpart. I also used frozen chopped spinach instead of fresh kale or spinach, because that's what I had on hand.

Creamy Italian Sausage & Spinach Soup
  • 2 slices of center cut bacon, chopped
  • 3 links of Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled (this time I used leftover Reduced Fat Italian Sausage made with pork and chicken I got on sale, but I usually use Turkey sausage.)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 red potatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach
  • 6 cups of water
  • 3 tbsp butter or other butter type spread (I used a Light Land 'O Lakes butter/canola oil tub butter)
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour (I had to add an extra tablespoon of flour, but usually a 1:1 ratio of butter to flour works well)
  • 2 cups 1% milk (as you can see in the picture below, I was low on milk, and only added about a cup)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Dried oregano or Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Brown crumbled sausage and chopped bacon in a large soup pan over medium/high heat. Remove sausage and bacon from pot and keep in a bowl. Add chopped onions and minced garlic to the bacon/sausage drippings and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Return the bacon and sausage to pot, add cubed potatoes and six cups of water. Add oregano or Italian seasoning to the pot. Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes over high heat. Add frozen spinach to the boiling pot of water, potatoes etc.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan, add all-purpose flour and whisk together to mix for about 2 minutes. Slowly add milk, whisking to combine then turn heat to low. Whisk often, the mixture will begin to thicken. Add 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese to the milk/flour/butter mixture and stir to combine.

Turn boiling water pot to low and pour the thickened cheese mixture into the pot, whisking to combine. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, allowing flavors to combine and potatoes to fully cook. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This turned out really well. If I had to guess it'll be at least 4-5 servings. The husband gave it an "A."

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