As the weather continues to get colder I am looking for more uses for my slow cooker and rich, hearty soups. My family loves hot, meaty soups with loaves of fresh bread or garlic bread for dipping. There is something about those meals makes us all feel warm and toasty inside.
As I was browsing through Pinterest the other day I came across several different Zuppa Toscana recipes that were all slightly different. So, I decided to take what I liked about each one and create one that I could make in my slow cooker.
This was amazing! The flavors were deep and rich. It was hearty and filling with sausage, potatoes, and spinach. Everyone raved about the flavor and the richness of the soup.
I served this meal with garlic toast for dipping. Leftovers were quickly claimed for the two leftover lunch servings the next day. That is a hit in our house.
For my mostly gluten-free son I used Herb-Ox chicken bouillon and Idahoan Baby Red instant mashed potatoes which are also gluten-free in this dish.
- 2 lbs. ground sausage
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 2 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 teaspoon dried basil
- 3 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 3 heaping teaspoons chicken bouillon
- 6 large potatoes, cut into one-inch chunks
- 1 – 2 cups spinach, washed,tough stems removed, roughly chopped
- 2 cup cream
- up to 2 cups of instant mashed potato flakes (optional – makes it a thicker heartier stew)
- In a large skillet over medium heat brown the sausage and onion together. When the sausage is cooked through and the onions are tender, add the minced garlic and cook for another minute or two. (Don’t let the garlic brown!).
- Add the oregano, basil, granulated garlic, and black pepper. Cook for another minute, then spoon this mixture into the slow cooker.
- Add the chicken stock, the chicken bouillon, and the cut potatoes.
- Cook on low for 5-6 hours, or until the potatoes are tender.
- About one hour before serving add the chopped spinach, the cream, and if you like a thicker, chowder-like soup, up to two cup of instant mashed potatoes to the slow cooker. Continue to cook on low for about an hour.
- Serve in large bowls with fresh warm bread or garlic toast on the side, if desired.