toscana rustica @ home

     This a variation of a well known Italian restaurant’s Toscana Rustica soup. When I taught a cooking class at our homeschool co-op, a lovely pair of twins brought this soup to class. Their grandmother had worked tirelessly until she mastered the re-invention of their favorite restaurant soup. So, if you're longing for a cozy night in with a your favorite Italian soup, forget about take-out...try this!
I think you'll like the results

5 Italian sausage links, casings removed, or bulk Italian sausage, hot or mild
1 large onion chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced
4 strips bacon, cut up

1 tsp red pepper flakes (you can omit if you used hot sausage)
3 cans of chicken broth or 6 cups homemade stock
2 cans of EVAPORATED MILK ( I use the fat free)

5 medium potatoes, diced
1/2 bunch of Kale, stems removed, and roughly chopped (green leafy veggie near the greens in produce section)

salt and pepper to your taste

Squeeze sausage out of casings, break up and brown in large soup pot. Add onion, garlic, bacon, red pepper flakes. Cook until onion is translucent and bacon is cooked through. Add broth and potatoes. Cook on medium low for  about 20 minutes until potatoes are tender. Add evaporated milk, kale. Taste before adding salt and pepper. Let cook another 10 minutes on low. Serve with some crusty bread and a salad made of sliced tomatoes, basil leaves and fresh mozzarella drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette. Mmmmm!


  1. anastasia, you CAN use water instead of the chicken broth or do half and half. i really liked the flavor with the homemade broth. thanks