Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Zuppa Toscana

I promise, this is the last soup post for a while.  Not for ever, because some soups are on the menu for this month, but this is the last recipe for October's Menu that is going up.  I realize that not every item on the menu has a recipe attached to it which is because several of those entries do not have recipes (like the sandwiches or salads) and a few of them were skipped (like the Chicken Piccata or Un-Fried Buffalo Wings) and so can't vouch for them and do not have pictures of them. 

This soup is fashioned after one Olive Garden serves with the same name.  I can't say whether or not it is at all like Olive Garden's version because I have never tried theirs, but I can say that this version is delicious.  Hey, Babe's parents happen to love this soup and told me about it.  Shortly after hearing how much they enjoyed it I browsed for a recipe online.  I was curious how it tasted and would rather make it myself then deal with bringing a toddler and an infant to a restaurant, so I copied it down and decided to eventually try it.

"Eventually" finally came last month and we invited Hey, Babe's parents to come and try it with us.  Sue was surprised as usual when I told her I was trying a new recipe on them.  She told me, as she usually does, that I am brave.  Personally, I feel that the guinea pigs are the brave ones in my recipe testing endeavors.  After all, they are the ones risking food poisoning or hunger.  There was nothing to fear, this was a success.  It wasn't quite as creamy as I had expected and so I will adjust the cream a bit next time, but it was overall quite excellent.  I do not often use hearty winter greens like kale, but after trying this I will definitely need to change that.

Zuppa Toscana
1 lb ground Italian sausage (mild or spicy, your choice)
1/4 tsp crushed red peppers
1 large diced white onion
4 pieces bacon, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
8 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream (I will double this)
1 lb sliced Russet potatoes or about 3 large potatoes
1/2 of a bunch of kale
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot set over medium low heat, sauté sausage, crushed red pepper, bacon, onions and garlic for approximately 15 mins. or until the onions are soft.  Remove excess oil.

To pot, add chicken broth and heat until it starts to boil.  Add the potatoes and cook about 1/2 an hour or until soft.

Add the heavy cream and kale and continue cooking until everything is heated through and the kale has begun to soften.


  1. This is great. My family and I tried Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana and it was our favorite soup there. This looks and sounds just like it.

  2. I need to try this recipe. I know my family would love it.

  3. It was really good the first day, but I think I preferred the leftovers. The potatoes absorbed more flavor overnight. :-)


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