This is my version of one of the soups served at Olive Garden restaurants. Aside from the obvious main ingredients, I have no idea if it’s the same as the restaurant recipe–but it sure is good.
* 1 lb Italian Sausage (bulk–hot or mild to taste)
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 Tbs olive oil
* 1 tsp caraway seed (optional)
* 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
* 2 lbs russet potatoes
* 1 quart chicken stock or broth
* 1 bunch kale
* 1 cup half and half
* 3 cups milk
Scrub the potatoes but don’t peel them. Cut them into quarter lengthwise, and then into slices about 1/4″ thick.
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Crumble in the sausage and cook, breaking up any large chunks, until no pink shows. Add the caraway seed, pepper flakes and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion starts to turn translucent (about five minutes).
Add the potatoes and chicken stock. There should be enough liquid to cover all the solids–if not, add a bit more stock, or even water. Turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are just fork-tender, about 10 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking, tear the kale into bite-sized pieces, discarding the main stems. When the potatoes are done, add the kale to the pot and cover, letting the kale steam above the rest of the soup for about five minutes. Add the half and half and the milk and heat, stirring often, until just barely boiling.
Serve and enjoy!