Or, at least that's what he thought when we started talking about eating kale in this soup.
When the kids saw the green stuff in the soup it came out that the unknown vegetable was Kale, not Cael, my last born child. He was sufficiently concerned and didn't touch the green stuff.
However, the rest of us did, and loved it. This is one of my husband's favorite soups, and because it's one of those recipes that I don't usually have all the ingredients for, we go long periods of time without eating it. You'll recognize the name if you've ever eaten at The Olive Garden, and if you've ordered their Zuppa Toscana, and liked it, then you now have a copycat recipe. Though this recipe is not listed on their site, they have a large selection of their recipes online at http://www.olivegarden.com/recipes/.
1 pound hot or mild Italian sausage
1 bag real bacon bits
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 cups water
5 cubes chicken bouillon
3 potatoes, chopped to 1/4"-ish
1 pint whipping cream (though I usually substitute half and half)
1 cup kale
Brown sausage in a large skillet. Add bacon bits, onion and garlic and saute together. Transfer meat mixture to a large pot, add water, bouillon, and potatoes. Boil until the potatoes are cooked. Add whipping cream and let simmer until thoroughly heated. Add kale and let sit until the kale is soft, about 5 minutes.