Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana – My Take

soup 2

Ok, so apparently a lot of people in Sarasota (and everywhere) love the Olive Garden and I’m not going to lie, I love the Zuppa Toscana that they serve. That being said, though, I’m not going to trek out to Olive Garden every time I want a bowl of hearty soup (because that’s all the time). That’s why, through a months-long process of trial-and-error, I’ve recreated MY version of Olive Garden’s yummiest soup. It may not be exactly the same, since I make an effort to lighten up my version where I can, but my family can attest that it is super delicious and it DOES NOT last long in our house!

sausage.onion.garlicNormally, I’d use ground turkey sausage to lighten this soup even more, but I happened to have a bunch of Andouille sausage in my freezer, so I used that – I’ve got no regrets, since Andouille sausage is one of my favorite treats.

What you’ll need:

1 medium onion, sliced thinly

2 large russet baking potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes

4 or 5 cloves of garlic, minced

4 or 5 large leaves of kale, ribs removed and leaves torn

1.5-2 lbs of ground pork or turkey sausage

8 cups chicken stock

3 tablespoons cornstarch

Salt and pepper to taste

We make our own chicken stock - it's so flavorful! But, and at the risk of sounding all Barefoot Contessa, canned is fine.
We make our own chicken stock – it’s so flavorful! But, and at the risk of sounding all Barefoot Contessa, canned is fine.

Preparation:

  1. Drizzle a tablespoon or two of oil into a large stock pot and heat over medium-high heat. Drop in sausage. Cook until almost done.
  2. Add sliced onion to the sausage. When onions are translucent, add minced garlic and cook briefly.
  3. Add chicken stock. Turn heat up to High.
  4. Add potatoes and bring to a vigorous boil.
  5. When it begins to boil, turn the heat back down to medium and simmer until potatoes are cooked through.
  6. When potatoes are done, turn off heat and whisk about 3 tablespoons of cornstarch in a small dish with a tablespoon or so of water. Whisk this paste into the soup (you can add more if you like your soup thicker).
  7. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste, then add kale and cover.
  8. Enjoy with some fresh, hot bread.
Fresh baked bread is a delicious treat - or you could cheat, like me. I bought this french bread at a bakery and warmed it in the oven. Shhh!
Fresh baked bread is a delicious treat – or you could cheat, like me. I bought this french bread at a bakery and warmed it in the oven. Shhh!

 

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