My small group does a potluck every month and sometimes we try to have themes. This month, the theme was soup. So I decided to make one of my all time favorite copy-cat recipes. We don’t go to Olive Garden very often, but when we do, I always get their Zuppa Toscana soup. It is rich creamy, spicy, hearty and oh so delicious. I love dipping my bread sticks in it and smashing a potato with the end. With endless soup and bread sticks, I can get through 3 bowls of this stuff. I may be miserable afterwards, but that has never stopped me before. Haha It really is my favorite soup and it’s not too hard to make either. It’s a little too spicy for my little ones so I usually only make it for myself or if we’re sharing with friends, but it’s always a favorite.
It can get a little salty, so use reduced sodium products when available and don’t add salt until you’ve tasted it. Also, I love bacon, but I found the bacon to be a little unnecessary in this recipe. I thought the sausage overpowered it so it’s optional. Also add or omit spice as needed.
Have you had Zuppa Toscana before? What is your favorite soup?
- 1 1/2 lb ground Italian sausage (mild or spicy)
- 1 TBS. Nudo olive oil
- 1 1/2 onion, diced
- 4 medium russet baking potatoes, diced into cubes (peeling optional)
- 1 cup crumbled bacon (optional)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3-4 cups fresh washed kale, chopped
- 42 oz. of low sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2-1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste (be careful not to over-salt)
- If using bacon, start baking it.
- Set timer. When finished let drain, crumble and set aside.
- Brown your sausage in a large soup pot on medium heat with the olive oil and cayenne pepper. Make sure to break it up well and stir often.
- When sausage is about halfway browned, add your diced onions.
- Once sausage is cooked through and onions are a little soft, add your minced garlic and saute for a minute or two. Drain and set aside.
- In the same pot, add your chicken broth and diced potatoes.
- Cook on medium-high heat until potatoes are fork tender, approximately 15-20 min.
- Reduce heat to med. Add heavy cream, cooked sausage and crumbled bacon.
- Heat through and stir in chopped kale in the last few minutes.