Tuscan Sausage & Potato Soup
- 4 oz. pancetta cubed
- 2 lbs. bulk mild sausage
- 2 15- oz. cans cannellini beans*
- 6-7 c. chicken stock divided
- 1 T. crushed red pepper flakes
- 2-3 cloves fresh garlic finely minced
- 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
- 2 lbs. Russet potatoes peeled and cut into small chunks
- 3 ” hard Parmesan cheese rind
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- ½ c. half and half tempered**
- 3 c. fresh kale finely chopped
- ½ c. Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- Brown pancetta in large skillet over medium-high heat for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sausage to the same skillet and brown, breaking it up into small bite-sized chunks with a spatula while it cooks. Remove from heat and carefully drain excess fat from pan. Transfer pancetta and sausage to a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker crock.
- Puree one can of cannellini beans (undrained) in a blender or food processor. Drain and rinse the other can of cannellini beans and add the puree and whole beans to slow cooker crock.
- Add 6 cups chicken stock, red pepper flakes, chopped onion, potatoes, and Parmesan cheese rind to crock and stir to combine. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7. Remove lid and add tempered half and half, kale, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and remaining chicken stock, if necessary, to achieve the desired consistency. Stir to combine and allow 5-10 minutes for kale to soften before serving.
For less salt, drain and rinse both cans of cannellini beans before pureeing one can with a little water.
Temper the half and half by adding a little bit of the hot liquid to it before stirring it into the slow cooker crock.