Take me to Olive Garden, and I can pretty much guarantee you that one of the things I will order is their Zuppa Toscana soup. I love it, it is one of my all time favorite soups. For a long time now, I’ve been meaning to make my own version of this delicious soup. Through a lot of recipe research, I finally tried my hand at it last night. I am pretty happy with the results! It’s rich and creamy just like OG’s and most importantly it has more substance than OG’s. I’ve learned that they have a lunch version and a supper version of Zuppa, now whether or not that is true I have yet to learn. However, I have noticed a distinguishable difference between the two when I visit, and I have to say that supper is a heartier soup with more potato & sausage.
Personally, I am going to keep playing with this because while it is so good, and delicious I am not quite sure I am there. In the meantime though, this will curb the cravings that have been haunting me.
I used hot italian sausage in my recipe, but if you can’t handle or don’t like spicy, I would recommend using a mild italian sausage. Especially if there are kids in the house. (That’s you, Annie!) Annie is one of my blog followers. Her husband Tim is a fellow lover of Zuppa, and they have 4 (beautiful) children in their home who might not share an appreciation for the bite of spice that hot sausage lends to this recipe. The same will probably hold true for your kiddos.
The nice thing about this recipe is it is incredibly easy and quick to throw together, not to mention inexpensive. It makes a huge pot of soup, with plenty for left overs. I served mine with Julia Child’s homemade bread that I made earlier in the week and it was the perfect accompaniment. If you have the time, and inclination I highly recommend making some homemade bread with this soup. You won’t be sorry!
Begin with your onion and garlic, chopping those both up finely. Or, if you have a garlic press you can press the garlic. I am lucky enough to own a garlic press from Pampered Chef that I love. Ask me about cleaning it though…totally different story.
Add the garlic and onion to a soup or stock pot, I used a dutch oven, along with your sausage over med-high heat. Proceed to brown the meat along with 2T. of butter. In the meantime, slice your potatoes. Honestly, I don’t think anyone cares how you cut them. You can do a dice, slice, whatever. I sliced mine, and that worked well for me. Plus, it looked pretty. I also left the skins on, after scrubbing the potatoes really well.
Once the sausage has browned add chicken broth and potatoes. Bring to a rolling boil. Once broth is boiling, set your kitchen timer at 15 minutes and prepare your kale. With kale, you do not want the stem. I used a knife and slid it along the edge of the stem to remove all the greens. Cut those up in a large, rough chop. You want some bigger chunks in there.
Once the 15 minutes has elapsed, reduce heat to simmering and add kale to the soup. Just let the kale blanch slightly while retaining some of it’s texture and color.
Add cream after the kale has blanched, heat for 2 minutes and serve.
Voila! Low stress and a quick supper for the ones you love. T really liked this, which was a surprise to me since he doesn’t normally enjoy spicy foods, and especially isn’t a fan of soup being the sole thing for supper. So, that tells you this one is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Let me know what you think, and if you have a recipe for Zuppa, please share it! I’d love to compare notes.
- 1lb hot italian ground sausage
- 1/2 cup Bacon (chopped)
- 1 medium onion
- 5 garlic cloves
- 62oz chicken broth
- 4 medium potatoes
- 2 cups kale (overflowing)
- 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
|Preheat a large soup pot with 2 T. butter.|
|Add sausage and chopped onion. Brown sausage.|
|When sausage is no longer pink, add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add chicken broth and potatoes.|
|Set kitchen timer for 15 minutes and allow soup to return to a rolling boil.|
|In the meantime, prepare kale and bacon.|
|Once potatoes are tender, add bacon and kale to the soup and blanch kale letting it retain the majority of it's color and texture. Reduce heat to med-low.|
|Add cream and cook 2-3 minutes. Serve.|