This weeks Om Nom Nom is a “copy cat” from the amazingly delicious Zuppa Toscano soup from Olive garden. I tried it for the first time a few years back because I’m a big fan of the unlimited soup/salad/breadstick lunch deal that Olive Garden has. I ordered it, albeit a bit unsure, but was pleasantly surprised to how GREAT it tasted. After that, it was the only soup I would order whenever I would go. At some point I figured I’d try making it myself. It would (at least), save me money and time of having to go to Olive garden every time I had a taste for it…which was more often than I’d care to admit. I also like that I can add my own flair to it. I rather enjoy cooking and this soup is relatively easy to make (plus if you make a big pot…imagine the amount of leftovers <3)
“Copy Cat” Olive Garden Zuppa Toscano:
Makes 6-8 Servings
1 lb Italian Ground Italian sausage (I actually just use the hot Italian sausauges, not the ground version)
1 1/2 pound crushed red pepper (you can play around with the amount, depending on how spicy you want it)
1 large diced white onion
4 tbsp bacon pieces
2 tsp garlic puree (or powder)
10 Cups Water
1 Cup heavy cream
1 lb sliced Russet Potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes
1/4 of a bunch of kale (I usually skip this)
5 cubes of chicken bouillon
1. Sauté Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot. Drain some of the excess fat (though I leave just a tiny bit of it) and leave in the refrigerator (in a bowl or a separate container) while you prepare the other ingredients.
2. In the same pan, sauté bacon, onions and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 mins. or until the onions have gone soft.
3. Add the chicken bouillon and water to the pot and heat until it comes to a boil
4. Add in the sliced potatoes and cook until soft. This will generally take about 30 minutes
5. Add in heavy cream and allow to cook until thoroughly heated.
6. Add in the sausage (and kale if you choose), stir thoroughly.
7. Serve and Enjoy!
1. I usually make this for me and my mom, and she isn’t big into a lot of red pepper flakes in the soup (she isn’t a spice fanatic). So I don’t add much into the original pot BUT, I will add as much as I want into my own bowl when I serve myself. Helpful when not everyone who will be trying it likes as much spice as you do (or vice versa).
2. This soup tastes great with a baguette. Or any bread/crackers really.
I hope you all enjoy! If you decide to try it (or just go to Olive Garden to get it), let me know what you think. Feel free to comment with any questions if you decide to make it OR if you have any suggestions for other soup recipes.