Thursday, October 14, 2010

zuppa toscana

there's this soup called Zuppa Toscana at Olive Garden that I adore.  I found some knockoff recipes online, but I have adapted my soup on my own, as I never found a recipe I really liked.  Here it is!

1 lb italian sausage (i use spicy), not in casings
8 strips bacon
3 cloves garlic (or more, if you like)
6-8 russet potatoes
1 onion
2 cans chicken stock
1.5 qts water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
parmesan cheese (fresh, not powdered)
green kale or swiss chard (leaves stripped from stem and chopped)

Cook sausage - I cook it quite awhile until it almost browns; Drain off oil/fat
Cook bacon (I did it in the microwave this time to save time, but it's better in pan in my opinion), then CHOP UP BACON into little bitty pieces.
Set aside bacon and sausage.

Scrub, but DO NOT peel potatoes.  We leave those on in this recipe!
Slice potatoes very thinly (about 1/4 inch)
Chop the onion (I chop pretty finely in my food processor)
Mince garlic
Combine potatoes, garlic, onion, chicken stock, water in pot and cook on medium heat until potatoes are done.

Add sausage and bacon
Add salt and pepper to taste
(I also added a bit of cayenne - probably 1/4 teaspoon, because we like it HOT)
Simmer for 20 minutes
Turn to low heat
Add kale and cream
Add some parmesan, reserve some for topping
Heat through and serve
This makes a pretty big pot - I feed 6-8 people.

I usually serve this soup with Rhode's rolls, fresh out of the oven, brushed with butter and sometimes garlic.  TO. DIE. FOR.

You need to make this.  Like, NOW.

PS.  Someone (my husband) said tonight that this was better than the Olive Garden's recipe.  Yes!