Josh has an awesome coworker, who is somebody I could totally jive with about food. She’s always sharing nifty recipes with him and he comes home inspired to make something risky or new. This is how the Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana was born. The minute he started chopping up a large amount of vegetables, I was sold. I left the kitchen for a while to let him do his thing, and within a half hour the house was bursting with this amazing scent. It reminded me of growing up and smelling my mother’s potato soup.
The recipe is actually pretty simple, but a tiny bit time-consuming. Lots of delicious veggies and spicy Italian sausage give this soup a distinct hearty flavor, with a kick!
(Recipe courtesy of Olive Garden & Tuscan Recipes)
- 1 lb ground Italian sausage
- 1½ tsp crushed red peppers
- 1 large diced white onion
- 4 Tbsp bacon pieces
- 2 tsp garlic puree
- 10 cups water
- 5 cubes of chicken bouillon
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 lb sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes
- ¼ of a bunch of kale
- Sauté Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot. Drain excess fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.
- In the same pan, sauté bacon, onions and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 mins. or until the onions are soft.
- Add chicken bouillon and water to the pot and heat until it starts to boil.
- Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
- Add the heavy cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.
- Stir in the sausage and the kale, let all heat through and serve.
This was probably one of the most incredible and flavorful soups I’ve had. It was spicy, but also very creamy and smooth. It’s amazing and best served when very hot. I’d also recommend maybe having some Italian bread or focaccia crackers for topping or dipping (even though it’s not totally necessary). All in all, A+ for the hubby!!!
Added Bonus: Panko-Crusted & Pan-Fried Zucchini
This was also quite delicious. I am a huge dipping-sauce kind of gal, and I would say that a light ranch would go smashingly with this. What’s that you say? That’s not very healthy? Ah yes, it’s true. But so very delicious! 😛