Zuppa Toscana

>> Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This post will hopefully convince Arizona's weather to turn fall-y so I can enjoy incredible soups like this WITHOUT running the air conditioning!

Whenever I go to Olive Garden, I always have to get this soup. It's so insanely fantastically delicious. Several years ago, I had a wicked craving for this soup but couldn't go get my Olive Garden fix. I decided to look it up online. I wasn't expecting to find a recipe nearly as good, but I found one! I love it even more, because it costs way less to make and I get several meals of this soup instead of just a single bowl.

The only problem I had with this recipe was that the original said you can use spinach or kale. The very first time I made it, I used spinach. It. was. disgusting. The spinach got completely slimy in the soup and didn't hold up well at all for leftovers. So do NOT use spinach as a substitution. It's gotta be kale.

Now that I'm on blood thinner medication, I have to be super careful about eating foods high in Vitamin K. When the pharmacist tole me that kale has the highest Vitamin K out of any of the dark greens, my mind instantly started mourning the fact that I won't be able to eat this soup as much as I normally do in the winter. Well, as much as I used to eat it in the winter, before I moved to the gosh dang desert.

1 pound hot style bulk sausage
1 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
5 cans chicken broth
6 potatoes, cubed
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 bunch kale

Cook sausage and red pepper flakes. Drain excess fat and remove sausage from pan. Using the same pan, cook bacon. Remove bacon, leaving a few tablespoons of drippings in the pan. Cook onion and garlic in bacon drippings until tender. Add chicken broth and potatoes. Cook for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, then add cream and sausage. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in kale just before serving. Serve with rolls or breadsticks!

What's your favorite soup?


Kristy November 23, 2009 at 12:30 PM  

I'm excited to try this one! Must put it on December's menu. My favorite soup changes constantly--right now I'm loving baked potato soup. But I'm making a minestrone tonight which is sure to be my favorite for at least a week!

Carrie December 8, 2009 at 1:26 PM  

oooh, I will definitely be trying this one next week!

Hillary December 10, 2009 at 5:20 PM  

I hope you'll both comment back once you've tried it! It's one of my most favorite soups. I have to be really careful how much Vitamin K I eat (I'm on blood thinners, and Vitamin K thickens the blood), and since kale is like the #1 highest on the list of foods that contain Vitamin K, I can't have it nearly as often as I'd like to!

Anonymous,  December 23, 2009 at 3:06 PM  

Made this soup and just got done eating it... soooo good!! Tastes just like Olive Garden's only better because it has more spice. My hubby loved it too and that's the only thing he ever orders at Olive Garden.
Channon (kenzerngav)

Kristy January 5, 2010 at 1:27 PM  

Delicious! It was a little too spicy for me with both the hot sausage and the red pepper flakes, so next time (and there WILL be a next time!) I'll choose one or the other. Thanks!

Carrie January 18, 2010 at 6:01 PM  

This was sooooooo good! The only modifications I made were using mild turkey sausage in place of the hot and half and half instead of the cream.

Amy S. November 10, 2010 at 10:13 PM  

Sorry if this is a really stupid question, but is the bacon used just for the drippings? I don't see anywhere that you've said to put the bacon back in. I haven't had this soup in forever so I can't remember if there's bacon actually IN the soup. Thanks!

Hillary November 12, 2010 at 7:19 AM  

Hi, Amy-
No, you don't put the bacon back in. Sorry if that wasn't clear! :) Hope you enjoy it!!

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