Tag Archives: that olive garden soup

A Twist on Zuppa Toscana

Sopa ToscanaThis is a good soup, a twist from an Olive Garden recipe, Zuppa Toscana.  It is fantastic.   My family loves it.  I took it to a get-together, and the nice guest sitting next to me didn’t know I had made it.  I was tickled when he said at least a couple of times, “This is good sausage soup.”  That, along with another guest’s recipe request told me this soup is a crowd pleaser.

Take this soup to your New Year’s gathering or cook it up simply for a New Day!

I have made this soup with both potatoes and sweet potatoes.  The potato is my family’s favorite, but they also like the sweet potato version too!  So don’t be afraid to substitute.  Using squash would taste good too, but you will lose the “comfort” texture the starchy potatoes and sweet potatoes offer.  In addition, look for the sausage with the least ingredients.  This is often difficult to find, so when I find it, I stock up in bulk.  Lastly, I use homemade broth because it tastes so good and I know exactly what is in it.  Making broth is not hard at all.  It mostly just requires us to step outside of our comfort zone.

Zuppa Toscana

1 pound sausage, browned and drained
5 slices of bacon, browned, reserve drippings
1 onion, diced
3-5 cloves of garlic
6 medium potatoes
Broth, chicken or beef, variable but approximately 9 cups (about 2 quarts)
Spinach or kale, about 2 cups chopped finely (either one is great)
2 teaspoons parsley, dried
1 teaspoon rosemary, dried, broken into small bits/crumbled
2 teaspoons basil, dried
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste (I used about 1/2-1 teaspoon)

1.  Brown sausage.  Drain drippings.  They will not be needed.  Reserve sausage and set aside.
2.  While sausage is browning, scrub and slice potatoes thinly, like you would for fried potatoes.  It’s up to you if you want skins on or off.  I can give you pros and cons to both ways health-wise.
3.  Brown bacon.  When crispy, remove the bacon from the pan and set aside on paper towel-lined plate to drain.
4.  In bacon pan and drippings, saute the chopped onion until golden brown.  Mince, press, or chop the garlic into the browning onions.  Saute a little.  Transfer onions and garlic to your soup pot.
5.  Add the sliced potatoes.
6.  Cover potatoes, onions, and garlic with broth.  Do not use all of the broth.  Use enough to cover and boil potatoes.
7.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until the potatoes are fork tender and even a little bit mushy.
8.  While the soup is cooking, clean and chop the greens.  If I use kale, I remove the thick stems before using.
9.  Smash some of the potatoes to make the soup thicker.  Add more broth to make the soup the consistency you want!  Do you want it soupy or more stew-like?
10.  Add the dried parsley, basil, and rosemary.
11.  Season with salt and pepper.  (Taste before adding much salt.  Certain broths are already salty!)
12.  Finally, add the chopped kale or spinach.  Remove from heat.

Family “gustar” report:  Every man, woman, and child goes for seconds on this one.  Bingo.

Added bonus:  I’ve found some Brewer’s yeast to add to soups.  It packs a huge B vitamin punch!  As I’ve observed some diet logs, I’ve seen that even in people with good intake of vegetables and meats, there is still a low intake of B vitamins!  Brewer’s yeast has kind of a cheese-like flavor suggestion and merges well in some recipes.  This is one of them.

Have a great day!

Terri