Zuppa Toscana – Olive Garden Copycat

Zuppa Toscana is a hearty and flavorful soup, famously known as an Olive Garden copycat recipe. This Italian-inspired soup is a comforting blend of savory sausage, tender potatoes, and earthy kale, all simmered in a rich and creamy broth.

To start, ground Italian sausage is browned to perfection, imparting its robust and seasoned flavors to the dish. The sausage is often chosen for its blend of herbs and spices, adding a depth of taste that characterizes the soup. Once the sausage is cooked, diced onions and minced garlic are sautéed until fragrant, contributing aromatic layers to the base of the soup.

The heartiness of Zuppa Toscana comes from the addition of sliced potatoes, which simmer until fork-tender. These starchy elements not only thicken the broth but also provide a satisfying texture to each spoonful. To enhance the soup’s nutritional profile and add a touch of freshness, chopped kale is introduced towards the end of the cooking process. The kale wilts slightly, offering a vibrant green color and a subtle bitterness that balances the richness of the broth.

Speaking of the broth, it’s a crucial element in Zuppa Toscana. Typically, a combination of chicken broth and heavy cream is used, creating a luscious and velvety base. The marriage of the savory broth with the creaminess from the dairy is what elevates this soup to a truly indulgent experience.

The soup is seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices, often featuring ingredients like crushed red pepper flakes for a hint of heat, salt, and pepper. The final result is a well-balanced medley of flavors, with the sausage providing a savory kick, the potatoes adding substance, and the kale contributing freshness.

Zuppa Toscana is enjoyed hot, and its rich aroma and comforting taste make it a popular choice for cold weather or whenever a satisfying, soul-warming soup is desired. Whether served as a starter or a complete meal, this Olive Garden-inspired dish captures the essence of Tuscan cuisine and has become a beloved classic for home cooks and restaurant enthusiasts alike.

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Ingredients:

6 ounces bacon, chopped
1 pound Italian Sausage, “spicy” variety
1 medium garlic, 10 large cloves, peeled and chopped or pressed
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 cups chicken broth (48 oz)
4 cups water (32 oz)
5 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick pieces
1 bunch kale, leaves peeled and chopped (6 cups)
1 cup cream
Salt and black pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for serving, optional

Preparation:

Place in a large 5 Place .5-quart pot or saucepan over medium-high heat, add chopped bacon and sauté until browned (5-7 minutes). Place the bacon on a paper towel-lined plate and pour 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil into the pot.Add the Italian sausage, breaking it up with the spatula and saute until cooked through (5 minutes). Place on a plate lined with paper towels.
Finely chop the onion and add it to the pot. Sauté for 5 minutes or until soft and golden brown, then add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
Add 6 cups broth and 4 cups water and bring to a boil.Add the sliced ​​potatoes and cook for 13 to 14 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.
When the potatoes are almost cooked, add the chopped kale and boiled sausage and let everything cook over low heat.
Add 1 cup of cream and bring to a boil. Season with salt and black pepper and then remove from heat. Garnish with bacon and grated Parmesan.

Enjoy!

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