Even though I enjoy soup at any time of year, I only make this particular Rustic and Hearty Tuscan-Style Soup when the temperatures are cool. It’s very hearty and filling, almost like a stew.
In place of the chicken base and water,you can use 4 cups organic chicken broth/stock from the carton, and 2 teaspoons of chicken base to enrich the stock
3 links Italian Sausage
2 medium size baking potatoes (Russet) cut into very large chunks
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 to 3 slices bacon, diced
3/4 cups onions, cut into medium small dice
1 large clove of garlic, minced
2 cups [loosely packed] kale, escarole, Swiss chard, or spinach [tough center stems removed, then coarsely chopped or sliced]
2 Tablespoons chicken base
4 cups water
1/2 cup to 1 cup whipping cream (heavy cream)
If using link sausage, remove meat from casings, brown sausage meat in large pot or Dutch oven, breaking up large chunks, until cooked through. Remove browned sausage and set aside. Drain fat from pot and discard.
Add bacon to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring until it begins to release some fat; then add onions and continue cooking over medium heat until onions are translucent and tender.
Add garlic, stir in and cook 1 minute longer. Add broth/stock and optional 2 teaspoons of chicken base and potatoes & carrots (OR 2 Tablespoons chicken base, 4 cups water and the potatoes & carrots) Simmer 15 minutes.
Stir in the sausage, kale or other greens. Simmer 4 minutes.
Stir in cream and allow to simmer 1 more minute until heated through, then serve