zuppa toscana (vegetarian)

I have no idea what the Olive Garden is and can’t be bothered googling it, but a lot of American food bloggers seem to love imitating their soup which appears to be imitating a Tuscan soup and no doubt bears absolutely no resemblance to Italian cuisine. Nevertheless, this version of it was lovely enough that I even got over my aversion to soup with bits in it. And finally got round to trying cavalo nero (mainly as it was 13p cheaper than kale in Lidl and I’d heard you could substitute).

2016-01-04 16.27.00

(serves 4-5)

Olive oil
2 onions (red or yellow), diced
1.5 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1.5 l vegetable stock
1kg potatoes (red / yukon gold), sliced
200g cavalo nero / kale, stalks removed and cut into ribbons
250ml double cream
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Add olive oil to a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, and fennel seed. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, chilli, and thyme, and cook, stirring, for another minute.
  3. Add the vegetable broth and potatoes. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in the kale and double cream and let simmer, uncovered, for another 10 minutes until the kale is tender. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.
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