· 1 pound bulk or cased hot Italian sausage
· 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
· 4 slices bacon, diced
· 1 large white or Spanish onion, diced
· 3 cloves fresh minced garlic
· Approx. 6 cups chicken broth
· 6 medium sized potatoes, cubed (I like Yukon Gold)
· 1/2 bunch fresh California spinach, remove stems
1. Take a heavy bottomed small stock pot and set over medium high heat. Place two ounces of olive oil into the pot. When the oil is hot cook the sausage along with the pepper flakes until crumbly, browned, and most of the pink has cooked out. Drain and set aside.
2. Using the same pot cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using most of the bacon drippings and browned bits (fond) on the bottom of the pot, stir in the onions and garlic; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
3. Pour the chicken broth into the stock pot with the sausage, bacon and onions; bring to a slow boil high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Mix the spinach into the soup right before serving. You are now ready to enjoy a nice hot bowl of hearty Zuppa Toscana. Make it even better with a great loaf or round of crusty Italian bread, a perfect meal!