Warm, flavorful soups are a great way to escape from the doldrums of dinner. This hearty Tuscan sausage potato soup is a great way to break free from the dinners you revisit week after week.
If your family is anything like mine, you sometimes find yourself in a dinner rut. A dozen or so recipes make their way onto the meal prep list and stay on repeat for months at a time. While we lovingly prepare and enjoy these meals, we long for something different. Its true — variety is the spice of life. And you’ll love adding this sausage potato soup to your dinner rotation during the cold days of winter!
Far from bland, this soup has something for everyone. Sausage, pancetta, veggies and packed full of savory flavor! This is the kind of soup that fills the house with an aroma that will have even your kids asking, “When will dinner be ready?”
What is Pancetta?
Pancetta is definitely a main character in the story of this sausage potato soup, but maybe not an ingredient commonly used in your home. While bacon might be a more commonly used ingredient in your meals, this is not an ingredient to shy away from. Pancetta is a lot like bacon, as it is made from the same thing: pork belly.
The biggest difference between bacon and pancetta is in the way this cut of meat is prepared. To make bacon, pork belly is typically soaked in a brine and then smoked, often with hickory, maple or applewood. Pancetta, on the other hand, is when the pork belly is seasoned, rolled tight, and left to cure.
Curing draws moisture out of the meat, leaving a perfectly preserved meat. The result for pancetta is an amazing, Italian version of bacon that is just as delicious, and perfect for so many recipes, including this one!
Benefits of Adding Kale to Your Sausage Potato Soup
Another great element found in this soup is kale. While the sausage, pancetta, and cannellini beans bring a hefty amount of protein to this meal, kale introduces a wide variety of nutrients to the mix. Kale brings various vitamins to this dish, such as:
- Vitamins A, C, and B6
The addition of this cabbage-family veggie is a great way to make sure your family is eating healthy greens. Short of eating kale straight from the farmer’s market (which your family might not be too keen on), you would be hard-pressed to find an easier way to add so many great vitamins and minerals to your meals than the addition of kale in this recipe.
Hearty Tuscan Sausage Potato Soup
- 4 ounces pancetta cubed
- 2 pounds bulk mild sausage
- 2 15- ounces cans cannellini beans
- 6-7 cups chicken stock divided
- 1 Tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 2-3 cloves fresh garlic finely minced
- 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
- 2 pounds Russet potatoes peeled and cut into small chunks
- 3 inch hard Parmesan cheese rind
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- ½ cup half and half
- 3 cups fresh kale finely chopped
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- Brown pancetta in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sausage to the same skillet and brown, breaking it up into small bite-sized chunks with a spatula while it cooks. Remove from heat and carefully drain excess fat from pan. Transfer pancetta and sausage to a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker crock.
- Puree one can of cannellini beans (undrained) in a blender or food processor. Drain and rinse the other can of cannellini beans and add the puree and whole beans to slow cooker crock.
- Add 6 cups chicken stock, red pepper flakes, chopped onion, potatoes, and Parmesan cheese rind to crock and stir to combine. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7.
- Place the half-and-half in a glass bowl. Add a little bit of the hot liquid from the soup to the half and half, to temper the half and half. Mix the tempered half and half into the soup.
- Finish by adding the kale, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and remaining chicken stock, if necessary, to achieve the desired consistency.
- Stir to combine and allow 5-10 minutes for kale to soften before serving.
Beyond Sausage Potato Soup…
While I love this sausage potato soup, there’s plenty more yummy, tummy-warming soups our family loves this time of year. Looking for more, delicious hearty soup recipes? Check out some of my faves…