Recipe by Cycle Michael
This is a clone of the Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana. Tried and true, approved by former Olive Garden chefs.
Top Review by Dans La Lune
Yum yum yum... this soup totally blew me away... it's DELICIOUS. As a former Olive Garden employee who has the taste of Zuppa Toscana burned in my tastebuds, I can truly say that my soup tonight came out as a PERFECT match. I did customize this recipe with the help of previous readers, so I recommend following it like this... I used 1 lb of hot Italian sausage, 3 medium to large potatoes UNPEELED, 1 small onion, 3 strips of thick sliced bacon, 4 cloves of garlic, 3 cups of kale (veins removed and sliced thin like ribbons), 32 oz of chicken broth, 2.5 cups of water, and 1 1/4 cups of half and half. I removed the casings from the sausage and browned the meat in a skillet, then putting aside in a stockpot. Then in the same skillet, I cooked the bacon and onions side by side, and put the onions in the stockpot, and went to work chopping up the cooked bacon and also putting in the pot. Then I sliced up all the potatoes... leave the skins on!... it creates awesome ribbons in the soup that add texture and flavor. I sliced them lengthwise and then in half into 1/4 inch thick triangles. Then I put the chicken broth, minced garlic, and water and let boil for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes were tender. Then I added the kale and half & half and let simmer another 15 minutes or so until the kale was tender as well. Although the hot sausage left a reddish colored film on top of the soup, it properly seasoned the soup without needing crushed red pepper (which the real OG recipe includes). Remember this soup should have a nice zing to it so I found that hot italian sausage worked beautifully. What a fabulous soup for this chilly weather!! Bon Appetit!
- 453.59 g Italian sausage (I like mild sausage)
- 2 large russet baking potatoes, sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 59.14 ml bacon bits (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 473.18 ml kale or 473.18 ml swiss chard, chopped
- 2 (453.59 g) can chicken broth
- 946.0 ml water
- 236.59 ml heavy whipping cream
- Chop or slice uncooked sausage into small pieces.
- Brown sausage in your soup pot.
- Add chicken broth and water to pot and stir.
- Place onions, potatoes, and garlic in the pot.
- Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done.
- Add bacon.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Turn to low heat.
- Add kale and cream.
- Heat through and serve.