I don’t care what anyone says about Olive Garden. Their Zuppa Toscana soup is one of my favorite soups around. That and their breadsticks. So good! There are so many different versions of Zuppa Toscana out there and I’m sure they are all good but I decided to create my own based on the Olive Garden version I love so much. I have no idea what they put in theirs but I think my version comes pretty darn close and it’s incredibly simple. It’s also a one pot meal which makes cleanup a breeze.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
3 cloves of minced garlic
3 russet potatoes cut into slices
5 cups of low sodium chicken stock
5 oz. chopped Tuscan kale – about 2 cups (regular kale or spinach would work too)
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 cup of half and half
1/2 cup of grated pecorino romano cheese
salt and pepper
1. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat.
2. Add the sausage to the dutch oven. Let the sausage brown for about 5 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.
3. Add the minced garlic and cook for one more minute.
4. Add the sliced potatoes and the chicken stock.
5. Bring the chicken stock up to a boil and add in the kale and crushed red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
6. Using a potato masher break up the potatoes. 2-3 mashes should do the trick. It gives the soup some texture.
7. Add the half and half and the parmesan cheese and stir. Taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper as needed.