Heat the pressure cooker to SAUTE medium. Add the chopped bacon and cook until bacon is crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the drippings in the pot. Set aside bacon for topping.
To the drippings add the sausage, onion, and garlic. Saute and break up sausage into crumbles, until it is no longer pink and cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. Press CANCEL.
Add chicken broth, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and potatoes to the Instant Pot. Stir to combine and then seal on lid and close valve.
Select HIGH PRESSURE and set time for 5 minutes. When finished cooking, quick release the pressure.
Stir in the the kale, handfuls at a time, until wilted. Stir in the evaporated milk, and adjust seasonings to taste. Top soup bowls with reserved crumbled bacon before serving.
Stove Top Directions:
Saute the bacon, sausage, onions, and garlic according to the recipe directions. After adding the broth, spices, and potatoes, simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. Proceed with the recipe as written.
Slow Cooker Directions:
Saute the bacon, sausage, onions, and garlic according to the recipe directions. Transfer the ingredients, with drippings, to the crock pot. Add the broth, seasonings, and potatoes. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.
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keto / low carb modification
Instead of potatoes use 4-6 cups of chopped cauliflower florets and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
dairy free modification
Swap out the evaporated milk with a can of coconut milk.
Why use evaporated milk?
I prefer using evaporated milk in soups because it's low moisture content boosts the creaminess without adding additional fat. With the bacon drippings and sausage there is plenty of fat to flavor the soup.Also, evaporated milk doesn't have the tendency to curdle or separate when heated and holds up better during reheating.Heavy cream or half and half may be substituted for the evaporated milk.
Can I thicken the soup?
Traditionally, this soup recipe is more brothy and thin. However, if you prefer a thicker zuppa toscana made in the instant pot you have a couple options.
Partially mash some of the potatoes after cooking.
Make a cornstarch / water slurry with 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons water. Stir it in after all the ingredients have been added and simmer until thickened.