How to make Zuppa Toscana soup at home!

Do you have a favorite meal that you love to get when out to eat but it just doesn’t love you back? One of mine would be Zuppa Toscana Soup from Olive Garden. I’m always down for soup, salad, and break sticks (with desert if I have room!) anytime we visit Olive Garden. I love their Zuppa Toscana soup but I can only ever eat one bowl because it is just a little too spicy for me. I know, I’m a wimp… what can I say. It is what it is!

A few years ago I came across a recipe for Zuppa Toscana soup and was super excited! I could make it at home and adjust it to fit my taste.

Wonderful!

Now I’m not much for measuring things out. I’m mostly throw everything together in proportions that seem right for the recipe.

First thing is to chop and boil some potatoes. We don’t eat a lot of white potatoes at home so I chopped up two medium sized potatoes for this soup. Afterward I transferred them to my crock pot since I was taking this dish to a party.

Next you want to dice and cook some onion and garlic. I used 1 large onion and 3 cloves of garlic. Saute them up in some butter or olive oil until they are soft. I use my dutch oven for soups like this and they always come out great!

Next I add in my sausage. The original recipe calls for regular Italian sausage or spicy Italian sausage. No thanks! I use sweet Italian in my version. I also add some seasonings when I add my meat. The original recipe calls for crushed red peppers. Again, no thanks! I season with basil instead. Chop up the sausage as it cooks so you have nice soup sizes pieces.

Once your sausage is nice and browned add your potatoes back in. I give it a good stir and a let them brown a bit before adding my liquids.

Now its time to add liquids and let everything simmer. The original recipe called for chicken stock, water, and heavy cream. I never add water – why thin out the flavor? I use Kitchen Basics Unsalted Chicken Stock as my go to stock. Sodium is a big NO NO in our house and this is the best available at my local grocery store. It packs a lot of flavor and is much lower in sodium than any other brand I have compared it to. I use half and half instead of the heavy cream. Again, we eat pretty healthy at home and I have it in the fridge already for coffee.

Normally I throw the whole package of stock in the dutch oven and then enough half and half to turn the color creamier – I really don’t measure – just add until I like the consistency. Also it is a good idea to season again so add a little more basil at this point. If you are a S+P fan I would add some here too! Once the liquids have warmed up the last step is to add the kale. You want to chop up just the nice green leaves and not the stalk. The kale should simmer in the pot until it is soft enough to eat. I also added some grated Parmesan cheese at this point. When you get this soup at the Olive Garden they add it (if you wish) when they bring it out to you. If you are a cheese fan add it now so you don’t have to remember when it is time to eat. Simmer on low 20-30 minutes or until everything seems to be a good consistency.

I transferred the soup over to my crock pot and kept it on warm. We attended a pot luck party that evening and this was our dish. It stays nicely on warm in the crock pot, getting better by the minute!

What is your favorite restaurant food to make at home?

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