Thursday, December 3, 2009
Zuppa Toscana or potato and sausage soup, is my favorite soup at the Olive Garden. In college my friends and I would frequent Olive Garden and fill up on the soup/salad and bread sticks, and then have delicious pasta leftovers for our dorms - how smart! :) This soup is both savory and spicy and I love how unique the ingredients are. (When else can you enjoy meat, potatoes and your greens all in one dish?!) Sometimes my grocery store will be out of kale and I have substituted escarole or swiss chard which also works well. I should mention to my sister who doesn't like this soup (because it is too spicy), you can omit the crushed red pepper if you'd like. Zuppa Toscana works well as a meal on a cold night like tonight since it is so hearty. I made onion-rosemary focaccia to go along with it. Serve with your favorite bread to soak up the flavorful broth.
1 lb. sweet/mild italian sausage
1 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 lg. white onion, diced
4 Tbls. bacon pieces, cooked and drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 c. water
5 cubes chicken bouillon
1 c. heavy cream
1 lb (4 large) russet potatoes, sliced
1/4 bunch kale, torn (Tip: the heart of the bunch will be less bitter than the outsides)
Cook sausage with red pepper, drain and set aside. Saute bacon, garlic & onion approximately 5 minutes. Add water and bouillon and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender. Add cream, sausage and kale. Serve with freshly grated parmesan.