Monday, September 16, 2013

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

Fall weather is finally upon us and I am excited for one reason: fall food. I absolutely love the reintroduction of warm, cozy dishes during this time of year. It starts with the PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte); once this treat is introduced, I know it is time to start crafting some cool weather dishes in the kitchen. It's an overcast and breezy day here in the county and that has left me with a hankering for something warm in my belly. I thawed a package of sweet sausage overnight with the intention of making stuffed peppers but I was struck with a soup craving. I have been wanting to make Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana and I knew it had sausage in it so I ran with the idea. This is a super easy recipe that I have adapted from the blog, Perry's Plate. I lightened this recipe by using half and half rather than heavy cream, low sodium chicken and added in mushrooms. I also up-ed the bacon dosage because we all know you can never have too much bacon! So I suppose I didn't really end up making the "light" version, hah! 

Warning: this makes a huge pot so invite friends over!


1lb. Ground Sweet Italian Sausage
2 cups of Kale (I used frozen from Trader Joes)
2 medium sized Russet White Potatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
5 slices smoked bacon
1/2 large sweet onion
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 quart of chicken stock (I used low sodium)
2 cups of water
1 cup of half and half
1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste


1.) Over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Set-aside. Drain excess grease (reserve a bit for cooking
your onions and garlic). Place ground sausage in pan, cook until browned all the way through. Break up the chunks with a fork as you cook it. Drain grease. Set aside when finished.

2.) In a large soup pot, add 1-2 tsp of bacon grease. Over medium heat, combine chopped onions and garlic. Once they begin to become translucent. Add in mushrooms and bacon.

3.) Wash, peel and dice potatoes. Wash, trim and chop kale if you are using fresh rather than frozen.

4.) Add chicken stock, water, potatoes, kale and sausage to the onion, garlic, mushroom, bacon mixture. Bring mix to a boil and then simmer for approximately 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender and fully cooked.

5.) Stir in half and half.

6.) Garnish with fresh crumbled bacon and serve!

1 comment:

  1. I tried it and it was AWESOME!!! you can cook for me any day!