My husband's favorite soup is Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana. I found a recipe online and changed it up a little bit. It is really delicious and perfect for cold weather (which we just started having here).
Brown 1 pound Hot Jimmy Dean Sausage in stockpot. No need to break up the big chunks of sausage. Drain grease and give a quick rinse. Return to stockpot.
Chop 1 medium onion and saute in olive oil until soft and tender. Mince 3 garlic cloves and add to onions. Cook for one minute. Do not burn garlic. Add to sausage in stockpot.
Dice and cook 1/2 pound bacon until crisp. Blot off grease and add to stockpot.
Add 32 ounces of chicken broth along with 2 cups of hot water. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Wash 7 or 8 large russet potatoes. Leaving skins on, slice into 1/3 inch coins. Add to stockpot. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Wash and chop 3 cups of Kale (de-vein first). Add to stockpot along with 2 cups of heavy whipping cream. Simmer another 10 minutes or until kale is soft and potatoes are done. Do not over cook potatoes or you will find they disappear into the soup
If soup is too runny for your preference, which it is for ours, add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to a little bit of cold water, mix well, and add to the hot soup mixture. This gives it just enough thickness for our liking. (On day two the soup is even thicker.)
You can add crushed red pepper but the Hot Jimmy Dean sausage gives it a nice flavor without being too "hot" for my taste.
I make this in double batches and we eat it for days with crushed black pepper on top and buttered French bread.