Copycat Zuppa Toscana

We were so smitten with Olive Garden's most popular soup, we decided to crack the code so that we could make it ourselves on those days that we just can't get there.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 10 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 12 cups
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Ingredients

4 strips thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed 

4 to 5 large russet potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds), unpeeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes  

3 cloves garlic, minced 

1 large white onion, diced   

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper  

6 cups chicken broth  

6 cups curly kale, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped 

3/4 cup heavy cream 

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar 

Directions

  1. Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon; set aside to drain. Add the Italian sausage to the drippings and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned and no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Transfer to the paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  2. Add the potatoes, garlic and onion to the drippings and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Season with the crushed red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender and cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.   
  3. Add the kale, heavy cream, bacon and sausage and cook over medium heat until the kale is tender, another 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar just before serving.