Monday, November 15, 2010

Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana Soup

 All of the credit for the idea to make this soup goes to my cute sister-in-law, Kristen.

We were talking on the phone one day last week after getting persimmons for the first time.  She called not quite sure what they were or what to do with the little suckers.  Then we found ourselves talking about the collard greens.  It reminded her of kale and she told me she was really hoping to get kale soon so she could make the copy-cat recipe of Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana Soup.  She told me about the recipe and I thought, "Why couldn't I use collard greens instead of kale?"  We talked it through and we both figured I could.  And then I called Kim to ask her what she thought and she thought I probably could also.  So, I did it!  AND IT WAS SO YUMMY!

If you like sausage, bacon, and potatoes {and aren't a health nut} then you need to try this soup!  I'm sure your husband will LOVE it just like mine did.  He told me at least 4 time during dinner how good it was and how much he was enjoying it.  That always makes my heart sing!

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup
***I adjusted a few things and added a few things to the original recipe, so here's what I did . . .

1 lb. spicy Italian sausage, crumbled
1/2 lb. smoked bacon, chopped
4 cups water
3 2/3 cups chicken broth (in addition to the 4 cups water)
4 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed clean and cubed with the skins left on
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
3/4 tsp. basil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 cups chopped collard greens
1 cup half and half (I might try heavy whipping cream next time)
salt and pepper, to taste

1.  Brown sausage in a pan over medium to medium-high heat, breaking up into small pieces as it cooks.
2.  Drain sausage and set aside (I put my sausage on a paper towel . . . it helped suck some of that nasty grease out!)
3.  Brown bacon in a pan over medium-high heat.  (I like mine a bit crispy.)
4.  Drain bacon and set to the side (again, used some paper towel)
5.  Place broth, water, garlic, red pepper flakes, basil, salt and pepper, potatoes, and onion in a pot.
6.  Bring to a boil and then simmer over medium heat until the potatoes are tender.
7.  Add collard greens, sausage, and bacon to the soup and simmer for another 10 minutes.
8.  Add cream to the pot and heat thoroughly.
9.  Serve and ENJOY!


Lisa-Marie said...

I've really been in the mood for it to snow here again (what? I know. like I won't get plenty of it in the next few months!) but now I'm hoping for more cause I want to listen to Christmas music and make this soup. It sounds so delish. YUM! And pretty too!

aubry. said...

i made this in college once... do you remember? i'm pretty sure bradley ate it all when i was in class one day. hmmph. boys. eating all my food. and what did i ever get out of it?

Kristen said...

Ummmm, you took the recipe and improved it with the bacon!!

Brooke said...

This was a big hit at our house. I had to leave out the half and half because we have people in our family who have dairy intolerances. I also didn't have all the ingredients on hand, so I substituted things, but it was still fabulous. Thanks for the great idea!