Zuppa Toscana, Tuscan soup

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When one thinks of Italian food pasta, pizza, and antipasto most readily come to mind. But Italian cuisine also includes an interesting array of soups. One such soup is the Zuppa Toscana.

As the name suggests, Zuppa Toscana is soup indigenous to the Italian region of Tuscany. To make this soup you will need 1 package smoked sausage, 2 potatoes, cut into small slices, 3/4 cup chopped onion, 6 slices bacon, 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic, 2 cups kale– shredded, 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder, 1 quart water, and 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream.

To prepare first preheat an oven to 300 degrees F, place the sausage on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Cut each in half, lengthwise.

Cook the onions and bacon in a large skillet over a medium flame until the onions are translucent. Crumble to bacon and add the garlic, to the onions and cook for another minute. Add the chicken base and water, potatoes, and simmer for around 15 minutes. Add the bacon, sausage, kale, and cream and cook for a further 4 minutes. Serve when hot.

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Portuguese soup, ethnic warmth

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Soup isn’t always just soup. In Portugal it is a tradition that is passed on from generation to generation.

The traditional Portuguese soup recipe calls for 1 cup vegetable oil, 2 cups chopped onion, 2 bay leaves, 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced, 1 medium head cabbage, chopped, 6 potatoes, peeled and cubed, 2 cans kidney beans, 1 can beef consommé, 2 2/3 quarts water, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 pounds potatoes, scrubbed and diced, 3 tablespoons butter, and warm crusty bread.

To prepare, place a large pot over medium flame and cook onions and potatoes, until tender, then add sausage and cook for 5 minutes. Next add water, bay leaves, cabbage, beans, consommé, garlic, powder, pepper, and salt and bring to a boil. Lower flame and simmer for between 30 and 45 minutes.

Add vinegar and more continue to simmer for an hour. Serve soup with warm bread.

This recipe can be used with kale instead of cabbage, garbanzo beans or chick peas instead of kidney beans, and chourico instead of smoked sausage.

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