When your warm spring day turns chilly, as mine did today, consider making this small-batch Tuscan soup for 2. It’s similar to the Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana. You can have it on the table in less time than it would take you to drive to a restaurant. This is a traditional soup made with sausage, potatoes, and kale or other greens (I used spinach today), spiked with garlic, in a cream-enriched chicken broth. This soup is definitely a blessing on a chilly day.
Too often, soup recipes make a huge pot. You don’t have to do that! This version is small but mighty: it makes two generous servings, so you won’t be eating it all week. It’s good enough that you might want to, but the point is, you aren’t required to haul out your big pans, and it doesn’t take hours. When I made this soup tonight, I used 3 ping-pong ball sized Yukon Gold potatoes, because that’s what was on hand. There were no small onions in the basket, so I used a large shallot. While the traditional green for this soup is kale, I had spinach, so that’s what went into the pot. Don’t be afraid to make your own substitutions! Recipes are flexible.
Another good point for this small batch version: it’s quick! Tonight I started by baking a tiny batch of biscuits, and by the time they were out of the oven and ready to eat, the soup was ready, too. I recommend these buttery biscuits to go with, but I’d also suggest excellent cheese muffins, or Irish brown bread as good accompaniments. Honestly, there isn’t much that you need to make a really, really good supper from this Tuscan soup for 2.
Tuscan Soup for 2
- ½ lb bulk Italian sausage or use 2 links, casings removed
- 1 large shallot or 1 very small onion chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 1½ cups chicken stock
- 1 small Russet potato peeled and in small slices
- 1½ cups fresh baby spinach
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Parmesan cheese for serving
- Heat a medium pot (1½ to 2 quarts) and cook the Italian sausage, stirring to break it up, until it begins to lose its pink color.
- Add the chopped shallot (or onion) and garlic. Continue cooking until the sausage is browned and no pink remains.
- Pour in the chicken stock, and add the sliced potatoes. Cover and bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer to cook the potatoes through, about 12 minutes.
- Add the spinach and cook, uncovered, until the spinach wilts, about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in cream.
- Serve hot, with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.