If this cloudy, and cool June weather is putting anyone else in the mood for some good comfort food, then I have a soup recipe for you. We love to hit the Olive Garden for their soup, salad and breadstick special, and both my husband and I are very partial to the Zuppa Toscana soup. So, we learned how to whip up a batch, Olive Garden style, in our own kitchen. Enjoy!
Zuppa Toscana (this is a creamy sausage and kale soup, we fell in love with it at the Olive Garden, but this is my families version) -
- 1 (16 ounce) package sausage (I usually buy the store brand ground sausage as its often cheapest. Jimmy Deans Sage flavor is a good one too).
- 2 potatoes, Chopped into bite size cubes ( I save time and leave the skins on, but you could peel them first too)
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 4- 6 slices bacon chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced (you can use less, we love garlic)
- 1 head kale – washed, dried, and chopped (about the same size pieces you would make a salad out of )
- 6 cups chicken stock (you can use canned or boullian, or homemade broth if you have that!)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream (you can substitute milk or half and half if you prefer – I use a little more when making a substitute)
- Salt and pepper to taste (I prefer coursely ground pepper for this soup)
- Brown the sausage in a frying pan. Add to a stock pot (soup pot) when cooked through.
- Place onions and bacon pieces in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until onions are almost clear. Cook bacon until cooked, but soft (not crumbly, but more like a ham consistency). Add the onions and bacon to the sausage in stock pot.
- Mince the garlic cloves and add to the stock pot.
- Add chicken soup base, and potatoes, simmer 25 minutes (or until potatoes are soft).
- Add kale, and cream. Simmer 5 – 10 minutes and serve. (if you want to make the soup early, follow steps 1-4 and let pot simmer on the stove over a very low heat. Do step 5 about 5 -10 minutes before you are ready to serve the soup).
We serve this up with a salad and breadsticks. Here is my recipe for “homemade” breadsticks (in quotes because I cheat :)):
- Rhodes Texas Rolls (found in freezer section)
- Johnnys Garlic Spread and Seasoning (this is the one with italian herbs in it)
- Melted Butter or Olive Oil
1) Thaw out the Rhodes Rolls (use as many as you want bread sticks for)
2) Once they are thawed pull gently into shape of breadsticks
3) Grease an 8 x 10 baking dish and add breadsticks
4) Cover with plastic wrap and let them rise for about an hour
5) Once risen, Baste the top with melted butter or olive oil (butter tastes more like Olive Gardens breadsticks, in my opinion)
6) Sprinkle the Johnnys Garlic and Italian seasoning on top
7) Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until golden brown
There you have it, your own version of Olive Gardens soup, salad and breadsticks, served from the convenience of your kitchen!