Copycat Zuppa Toscana
Note, this isn’t the real recipe they use at Olive Garden I’m sure, but it was close enough that it made me absolutely happy! <3
This recipe originally came to me from my youngest sister. I am not sure where she got it (she did take culinary arts at college though) but I’ve modified it just a little bit. I’ve only made this once, but it was absolutely delicious!
I figured I would share it for anyone who doesn’t know, and doesn’t always get the chance to go to Olive Garden. The Zuppa Toscana is my absolute favorite thing to get there, and aside from dessert is really the only reason I ever go! ^_^; Well that and bread sticks, though I have developed a fondness for the salad as well. I’ve only tried one other soup there, but I wasn’t a fan.
Copycat Zuppa Toscana Ingredients:
- 7 cups of chicken stock/broth (you can use the bullion cubes w/ water if you desire)
- 3 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 1 pound ground sausage (you can experiment with various types)
- Bacon bits (I prefer chopped bacon)
- Half a white onion
- Russet potatoes (4-5, more if desired)
- Garlic – finely minced(or garlic powder)
- Red pepper flakes
- Chicken stock to boil potatoes in (you can use regular water, but it tastes better this way)
- ¼ – ½ cup Instant mashed potatoes to thicken soup a little (optional, use only if desired)
- Mince ½ white onion finely.
- Allow 7 cups of stock/broth to become hot, but not boiling, in a large soup pot.
- Wash potatoes before slicing thinly, roughly ½cm or so before boiling.
- Tear Kale and allow to cook with potatoes the last 5 minutes of boiling time.
- Cook sausage and remove from grease, set the sausage aside.
- Using sausage grease – saute onion, red pepper flakes, bacon bits (or chopped bacon), and garlic (I simply used garlic powder however…)*
- Add potatoes and kale, sausage, and onion/pepper flakes/bacon/garlic mixture to hot but not boiling stock. Mix and allow to sit for about 3-4 minutes.
- Add heavy whipping cream and stir.
- Salt and pepper (regular black ground) can be added to taste.
- (OPTIONAL) add the ¼ – ½ (all dependent on preference) of instant potato flakes for additional potato-y thickness.
*You can use as little or as much red pepper flakes, garlic, salt and pepper as you desire. I wanted the soup not as ‘spicy’ as the original for the sake of the kids, so I didn’t do as much of the pepper flakes, instead opting just to put extra in my own bowls of soup.
** Safeway has the bread sticks they use, they are brown and serve. They are $3 or $4 for a pack of eight, just slap on butter and garlic salt and you’re good to go. The frozen butter garlic bread sticks I was able to find at Wal*mart works just as well!
I hope you enjoyed the recipe as much as I do! I can’t wait to have Zuppa Toscana again without the noise of a restaurant!