January is National Soup Month.
You probably already knew this--not because you did your research, but because soup just seems to fit January. A hot bowl of soup on a cold day can "warm you from the inside out," as my mother would say. No one feels like eating soup when we're in the midst of a heat wave in July. But in January--well, not only do we enjoy the chance to eat soup, but we also love the feeling of making it, the slow wave of steam off the boiling broth cascading our faces as we stir, the tart smell of onions and garlic that make your eyes and nose burn, the methodical sweep of the knife through vegetables. Yes, soup season is a sensory explosion.
One of my very favorite soups is my friend's version of Zuppa Toscana. If you are a volunteer, you may remember that this was served at our 2019 Volunteer Luncheon.
1 1/2 lb. ground sausage
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper
Cook sausage with seasonings and set aside.
2 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled, with the grease saved
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 c. minced onion
3 c. potatoes, diced
3-4 c. chicken broth
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Saute onion and garlic in bacon grease. Add potatoes, salt, pepper, and broth. Stir well and bring to a boil, and then simmer until potatoes are cooked through (about fifteen minutes). Add sausage and simmer on low heat.
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 c. milk
In a saucepan, melt butter. Add flour and whisk constantly for one minute over low heat. Slowly add milk and whisk thoroughly. Cook until thickened, approximately 3-5 minutes. Stir into soup.
4-5 c. chopped spinach or kale
1/2 c. cream
Add whipping cream, spinach/kale, and bacon and cook for a few minutes before serving. Top with Parmesan cheese.