The other day my husband texted me from Kneaders (a local bakery) telling me about this amazing soup he had ordered for lunch. It was called Parmesan, Sausage and Kale soup. Immediately I thought that it sounded like Zuppa Toscana because those are the exact ingredients that you put in the favorite Olive Garden copy cat recipe. He said that it was different than Zuppa and super yummy. He asked me if I could make something like it in the slow cooker. I told him I would try! So the other day I picked up a bowl of the soup from Kneaders to see if I could somehow replicate it. I tried and came up with something that is by no means identical but I think it tastes just as good!
- 1 lb ground Italian sausage (I used mild)
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 celery rib, finely diced
- 1 carrot, finely diced or shredded
- 2 cups cubed red or yellow potatoes (I cut them into fairly small cubes)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp ground thyme
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 5 kale leaves
- In a pan, brown the sausage for 3-4 minutes. Add in the onion and continue cooking until
sausage is completely cooked through. Drain off excess grease. Add sausage and onion to the slow cooker.
- Add broth, water, celery, carrot, potatoes, garlic powder, thyme and parsley to the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours, or until potatoes are tender.
- In a small bowl combine salt, pepper, and flour. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter over medium low heat. Stir in flour mixture by tablespoon at a time to form a roux. Whisk in milk, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth.
- Stir cream mixture into slow cooker and then let cook on high without the lid for 15 more minutes.
- While soup is cooking add Parmesan cheese into the soup. Cut up kale leaves* into bite size (or smaller) pieces and add to the soup. Ladle into soup bowls and serve.
*I lay a piece of kale on a cutting board and then cut off the leaf portion and discard the rib and stem. It’s kind of time consuming but the stem is bitter and tough…you won’t want to eat it.
Ideal slow cooker: 5-6 quart
You can also make this recipe in the Instant Pot. Get the instructions here.