Monday, January 24, 2011

Husband's Favorite Soup - Zuppa Toscana

The night before my husband's birthday I decided to surprise him with his favorite soup. I don't make this very often because it is really high in fat and cholesterol which neither of us need, but it is so SO good as an occasional meal. He absolutely loves the Zuppa Toscana at the Olive Garden and this recipe is about as close to it as I can come. Of course, I can never leave a recipe alone so I tend to tweak it a bit, but this is pretty close to the original.

First I sauteed the onions and garlic

While the onion and garlic cooked, I cut the hot links. Normally I use a locally made sausage, Slovacek, but this time I decided to use the Earl Campbell brand. Next time I am going back to my old favorite. Slovacek is spicier and just has a better flavor.

I added the sausage in with the onions and browned it in the pot.

Then I added the base and water and potatoes. After that cooked for around 15 minutes I added the cream and kale to cook for a few minutes. Don't put the kale in too soon or it will change into a brownish color and just not look appealing.

The end product was delicious and mildly spicy from the sausage. It is definitely still a favorite.

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

Published 3/13/96 in the Minneapolis Star Tribune Taste Section.

Servings: 5

1 1/2 cups Sausage links, spicy; about 12 links
3/4 cup Diced onions
6 slices Bacon
1 1/4 teaspoons Minced garlic
2 tablespoons Chicken stock base
1 quart Water
2 medium Potatoes, cut in half and then into 1/4 slices
2 cups Kale, cut in half and then sliced
1/3 cup Heavy whipping cream


Cut sausage into half lengthwise, then cut at an angle into 1/2 inch slices. Place onions and bacon in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until onions are almost clear. Add garlic and cook an additional 1 minute. Add chicken base, water and potatoes, simmer 15 minutes. Add sausage, kale and cream. Simmer 4 minutes and serve.


Rich said...

Fat? Cholesterol? Yeah, when it comes to a soup like that, you've just got to toss those out the window. This looks absolutely delicious.

Elizabeth said...

Rich, this soup is delicious and totally worth the tinge of guilt afterward. Love it!

Sandra said...

I think this is wonderful soup! My family love any kind and yours sounds and looks awesome!

Hester aka The Chefdoc said...

Mmm, I want to make some! However, I'll probably add in a little fat-free milk or even a tad of buttermilk.

That was incredibly nice of you to make it for him, though :-) I love these kinds of soups!

Kate @ said...

I don't blame him - that's a wonderful soup!

Brandie@thecountrycook said...

I love Olive Garden soups. I think it's great that you've recreated this one and it sounds so delicious. I'm your newest follower :)

Anonymous said...

Wow this looks delicious! Your hubby is lucky that you made this for him :-)

Kate said...

I wrote to Olive Garden years ago for this recipe and they were kind enough to send it along. It's a fabulous warming winter soup!

Ang said...

How sweet are you to make his favorite soup. I love doing special things like that for mine and keepin his belly full:) It looks delicious.