This is The Olive Garden's recipe, from their cookbook. It is not a copycat. It has been cut down to make a more reasonable size. I have made this for several years, and everyone who has tasted it, loves it. It is a hearty meal in itself, or it can be served with salad and bread. This is especially good on a cold winter night ! ***I have edited the cooking order to make the preparation time shorter.***
- 10 cups water
- 7 chicken bouillon cubes (not granules)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons garlic paste
- 1 lb russet potato, peeled and sliced (Or cubed. About 3 large)
- 1 lb ground Italian sausage
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 1 bunch fresh kale, torn in small pieces (or 16 oz. bag of prewashed and cut Kale. Discard stems)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons oscar meyer bacon bits
- In a large stockpot, put water, bouillon, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic, and potatoes. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Sauté the sausage and onion in a skillet, until the sausage is brown, then add it to the stockpot, along with the Kale. Simmer for 20 - 30 minutes, or until Kale and potatoes are tender.
- Add the cream and bacon bits, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- I use 10 medium size potatoes.
- Half and Half can be substituted for the heavy cream if desired.
- Kale can be found in the produce department of most grocery stores.
- The soup at The Olive Garden is not thick. If you wish yours to be more like a cream soup, simply simmer it longer, and mash some of the potatoes in the pot with a wooden spoon, and stir frequently until of the desired consistency.