Ok this is from the Olive Garden. I LIKE Olive Garden, ok? I'm not ashamed! Sometimes you're just in the mood for "Italian" Food [with quotations].
I guess it's like how Taco Bell is not really Mexican food, but is still good ... to some people. Not me, though. Taco Bells is barf and I haven't eaten there since 6th grade.
In college, I probably ate at Olive Garden at least 2x a month. I would eat 2 bowls of this soup, salad, breadsticks, followed by my entree (mmm TOUR OF ITALY, remember that?). And then maybe dessert. And man, when "Never-Ending Pasta Bowl" time came around - watch out. I would eat 2 and bring 1 home.
This is also probably why I was 10 lbs heavier in college than I am now.
The Zuppa Toscana was one of my favorites. I looked around online and found a "copycat" recipe. Tried it last night and it came out surprisingly well! I changed the recipe a bit and used chunks of portabello mushroom instead of potatoes to make it more carb-friendly. Delish!
- 1 lb. Italian Sausage
- 1½ tsp crushed red peppers (or more, according to taste)
- 2 large Russet Baking Potatoes sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
- 1 large Onion, chopped
- 4 Tbsp bacon pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups Kale or Swiss Chard, chopped
- 2 cans Chicken Broth
- 1 qt. Water
- 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- Crumble and sautee sausage in a pan with the red pepper flakes. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
- Sautee potatoes, onions, bacon, and garlic in a pot until onions are almost clear.
- Pour in chicken broth, water, and heavy cream. Simmer until potatoes are cooked and the soup thickens.
- Add the sausage and kale. Salt and pepper to taste.
Yummy! You can also make this w/ spicy sausage for that extra kick. Put in a tablespoon or so of cornstarch if you like a thicker soup, though the real soup is pretty watery. Remember to mix the cornstarch w/ some broth before pouring it in. If you just put it directly in the pot, you might end up with a special surprise dumpling in your soup. The bf ate the dumpling.