toscana rustica revision

      It is nasty and cold outside... all of a sudden! The weather has gone from yesterday's rain and muggy temps to cold, gray and blustery, overnight. The kitchen smells like Thanksgiving. I'm one happy chick!
     While trying to keep everyone's fingers out of the Thanksgiving pie, I threw together one of my faves... This hearty soup will hit the spot tonight. All I need now is a roaring fire!
     I used Publix Greenwise chicken Italian sausage this time, but have also made it with turkey or traditional pork Italian sausage. If you're a spicy person, try the hot Italian, but omit the red pepper flakes until you taste the soup. It still has a bit of heat the way it is written. Proceed at your own risk!
     I love, love those itty-bitty, golden potatoes they sell in most food stores. Have you found them? I roast them in the oven quite a bit, but decided to try them in soup. I cut them in half to speed up the cooking time. If you can't find little potatoes, use about five regular-sized bakers. I didn't peel the babies, but you might want to peel large, thicker skinned potatoes.
     I bought the kale that was already chopped, washed and ready to cook. It really saves time, but you could wash and chop your own bunch, if that's how you roll. Kale is one of the most popular greens these days. I've even seen baby kale among the salad fixings. It is very, very good for you and unobtrusive in a soup... Give it a try!
5 chicken Italian sausage links, casings removed, hot or mild
1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 slices bacon, cut up
1 tsp red pepper flakes (you can omit if you used hot sausage)
3 cans fat free chicken broth or 6 c. homemade stock
2 c. Dutch Baby gold potatoes, halved
2 t. salt
1 t. pepper 

2 cans of evaporated milk, (I used fat free)

4 c. Kale, chopped and ready to serve
In a large, deep pot on medium heat, brown sausage and bacon with onion, garlic and red pepper flakes. Break up the sausage chunks as it cooks. When onion is translucent and meat is cooked through add a splash of broth and scrape the browned bit off the bottom of pot.
Add remaining broth and potatoes, salt and pepper. Cook on medium low for  about 20 minutes until potatoes are tender. Add evaporated milk and simmer for another few minutes. Toss in the kale. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Let cook another 10 minutes on a low simmer.
Serving idea: Serve along-side a salad made of sliced tomatoes, basil leaves and fresh skim mozzarella drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette.
Weight Watchers Points plus value: 4 per 1 c. serving. Makes 10-12 servings.

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