Potato Soup, Mediterranean Style

Who’s ready for a bowl of comforting soup? When everyone starts pulling out their Crock Pots for chilli, you’ll find me making this hearty Mediterranean style potato soup instead. Yeah, I’m not a fan of beans, which apparently makes a lot of people think I am a freak, but I digress. Olive Garden serves their own version of this soup, which you may have heard of: the Zuppa Toscana. It’s the only thing my mother likes on the menu.

So, a few years ago, my mother started to lose her voice from “over exercising her vocal cords” (She’s got one of those voices that carry and is very loud for a person under 5’. It always sounds like she’s yelling). We were on the phone one night. In her raspy, whispery attempt to talk softly when she shouldn’t have been talking at all, she mentioned how my dad had brought her home some Zuppa Toscana and how much better it made her throat feel. Now at the time, my dad and I worked out of the same office (different programs) so I decided to make a pot of something like the Zuppa Toscana that he could take home to my mom. This would not only comfort my mom while she was feeling miserable, but also spare my dad the horrible side trip through a severely congested area at the height of rush hour. No one can say I don’t look out for those parental units of mine, lol.

Ever since then, this has been one of the few non Filipino dishes my mom craves. My dad likes it, too, but he loves, loves, loves minestrone. Maybe he’d like my potato soup more if I added beans…yeah, not in my kitchen lol!

This is soup is perfect on a chilly, fall day with a nice chunk of crusty bread.

Mediterranean Potato Soup

Serves a lot! Guessing about six generous helpings at least

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Kale or Swiss Chard chopped.
  •  5 cups Russet Potatoes cubed
  •  2 cups Onion chopped (use sweeter onions like Vidalia)
  •  4 large Garlic cloves smashed
  •  3 2/3 cups Chicken Broth (about two 14.5 oz cans)
  •  3 cups Water*
  •  ¼ cup- 1 cup Half & Half or Heavy Cream (start with a ¼ cup)
  •  12-16 oz Sausage (appx. 1 lb). Pork or Turkey**
  •  Your favorite Spices and Herbs for seasoning Sausage, such as Rosemary, Sage, Oregano, Parsley, Red Pepper Flakes
  •  Salt and Pepper
  •  2 tbsp Olive Oil

*Optional, you can sub with broth if you have enough on hand.

** A lot of my friends do not eat pork for many and diverse reasons, so I usually have a substitute handy for them.

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, add potatoes, garlic, and onion, then pour in Chicken Broth and Water
  2. Bring pot to a boil, then lower temperature to medium heat and simmer until potatoes are tender
  3. While potatoes are cooking in the simmering broth, heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat.
  4. Add sausage to pan. Season with your chosen herbs and spices and cook until nicely browned
  5. When potatoes are tender, add the browned sausage to the pot
  6. Stir in half and half or heavy cream, starting with ¼ cup, using up to 1 cup depending on your taste buds
  7. Add Swiss Chard or Kale to the pot and stir.
  8. Cover the pot, and allow soup to heat through and Swiss Chard or Kale to wilt.
  9. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste
Note: If you don’t mind the potatoes breaking down during thawing and re-heating, this soup freezes pretty well.

~Ruth~
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