Thursday, April 19, 2012

Zuppa Toscana

Derek and I enjoy the Olive Garden when we get a chance...especially if it is the Olive Garden sans kids. About a month ago, we went while my kiddos spent the night with grandma and grandpa. Man, without our kids along, I was extra annoyed by other peoples' children. Anyways...Derek ALWAYS gets Zuppa Toscana. I finally decided to also order it to see what the big deal was. It was delicious! I decided to look online for a copycat recipe. I didn't follow one specific recipe that I found, but rather put bits and pieces of different ones together, picking out what I thought would mimic it the most... It was pretty close, but lacked the "punch" (next time I'll try either "hot" Italian sausage or the addition of red pepper flakes). I brought it to work and it got rave reviews. Now all I need is one of those hand cheese grinders so I can ask "Would you like fresh grated cheese on that?"

1 lb ground Italian sausage (next time I'll use "hot")
1 small onion, diced
3 strips of bacon (I cut mine small with scissors to avoid having to crumble)
3 medium to large potatoes unpeeled and cubed
2 tsp minced garlic
2 cups of kale, torn into bite sized pieces
32 oz chicken broth
2.5 cups of water
1 pint heavy cream
salt, pepper, garlic salt (to taste)
red pepper flakes if not using "hot" sausage (not sure on amount)

brown & drain sausage in fry pan, remove
fry bacon with onion until bacon is crisp and onion is tender, drain & remove
add sausage, bacon and onion to soup pot
add garlic, potatoes, kale, chicken broth & water
simmer until potatoes and kale are tender
stir in cream shortly before serving and heat through
season to taste

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