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Rachael's Tuscan Soup

Rachael's Tuscan Soup


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1 pound loose hot Italian sausage

  • ¼ pound pancetta, finely diced

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (1/3 palm full)

  • 1 scant teaspoon sugar

  • 2 quarts chicken stock

  • 1 chunk rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 2 large potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced into ½-inch-thick half-moons

  • 1 bunch flat-leaf/lacinato kale, stemmed and shredded into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 cups half-and-half

  • Nutmeg, to taste

  • Charred bread, rubbed with cut garlic, EVOO, and flaky sea salt

  • Grated Locatelli Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, to serve

  • Chili flakes, to serve


Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add sausage, brown and crumble, then remove to plate to drain. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, add the pancetta and render for 2-3 minutes. Add onion and garlic, season with salt, pepper, fennel seeds and sugar, reduce heat a bit and cook onions 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add stock, rind and potatoes, bring soup to boil and cover, then simmer 15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender. Uncover soup and wilt in kale, add half-and-half and turn off heat. Season with nutmeg to taste and adjust salt. Remove rind. Serve soup in shallow bowls with charred bread and pass cheese and chili flakes alongside.