Do you have a signature dish?  Whenever people ask me what my signature dish is, I stare, and stare, perhaps scratch my head, sigh, and say “No, I don’t have one.”  My friend Melissa, on the other hand, does have a signature dish – Melissa’s Tuscan Soup.

On the same night that I shared my recipe for Savory Southwestern Sweet Potatoes, Melissa shared her recipe for a delicious, comforting and heart warming soup!

While Melissa was cooking, I was paying close attention and taking mental notes.  Like many chefs, she didn’t use an actual recipe with measurements – she must’ve made the soup so many times for friends and family that she knew it by heart and measured the ingredients by feel.  So the recipe below is more of a method.
1. In a large soup pot saute diced onion and chopped garlic.
2. Add sausage (Melissa used a spicy sausage variety, but you should feel free to use the kind you like).  Saute sausage and onions until tender.  Sprinkle red pepper flakes.
3. Add thinly sliced potatoes (Melissa used a food processor to slice her potatoes.  She left the skin on – gives you more nutrients!).
4. Add 4 cups of chicken stock.  Have your own homemade chicken stock?  Great! Use it.  Otherwise use low-sodium, low-fat chicken stock.
5. Bring the soup to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender.
6.  Time for white and green!  Add chopped kale, about 4 cups and a few cups of milk.  If you are feeling extravagant, you could add some half and half for richness, but honestly, you don’t need it.  The soup turns out really creamy and rich as is.  Be careful not to boil the milk.  Gently heat the soup to wilt kale.
7.  Time for one ingredient – crumbled pepper bacon.  Melissa used 4 slices.  It really adds a nice kick and texture to the soup.  Ladle up and enjoy!

I truly hope that I did Melissa’s soup justice.  The soup was hearty, comforting and delicious.  Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!

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