I’m not a terribly huge Olive Garden fan, but I DO love their Zuppa Toscana soup.
DH had mentioned he was hungry for “soup, salad, and breadsticks” so instead of trying to wrestle our way into the constantly-full-takes-no-reservations Olive Garden in our town, I just made it at home!
This soup was very tasty. I liked it better than the restaurant version since I could control the fat and salt involved.
I pre-cooked the sausage on Sunday, and tossed it in a container in the fridge. Then all I had left to do was the basic ‘soup’ aspect on Tuesday, and while it simmered I chopped up our salad and tossed breadsticks in the oven (since it was a weeknight, Pillsbury saved the day on the breadsticks). Worked out to be a great weeknight meal.
The original recipe only served 3 people. I’m not even going to post that recipe here, because when I make soup, I make way more than that (regardless of the soup). I doubled the recipe, we ate it 2 nights for dinner, with some left over for lunches (or freezing, if that’s your preference).
For the original “serves 3” recipe, click the Recipezaar link below.
1 lb. spicy sausage — we used turkey sausage (original recipe calls for sausage in cups. who measures sausage in CUPS!?)
4 medium potatoes, cut in half length-wise and cut into 1/4″ slices
1 large (2 small) onion, diced
12 slices bacon (we omitted. i don’t need sausage AND bacon in my soup)
3 teaspoons minced garlic — we used jarred preminced (don’t worry if this smells mega-strong when it’s cooking. the garlic flavor will mellow out)
4 cups kale leaves, cut in half then sliced (I chose about 12 kale leaves at the store, and ended up tossing them all in)
4 tablespoons chicken base(bullion)+2 quarts water (I used 8 cups of chicken broth instead)
2/3 cup heavy cream
– If sausage is in links, remove from casings. Cook sausage until done and set aside.
– Cook bacon and onion over medium heat, and when bacon is crisp, take it out of the pan and leave the onion in. Add the garlic to the onion and cook1 minute (Since I omitted the bacon, and my sausage was already cooked and in the fridge, I just put a little olive oil in the bottom of my stock pot, and sauteed the onion in the olive oil until soft and transparent. Then I added the garlic and proceeded on)
– Add the chicken base, water, and potatoes; simmer 15 minutes
– Crumble bacon and add crumbled bacon, kale, and cream
– Simmer 4 minutes, then serve.
This was DH’s first time with kale, and he’s decided he likes it. Anybody have good recipes that use it??