You can’t go wrong ordering Olive Garden’s endless soup, salad, and breadsticks. I don’t know if you ever noticed but their salad plates come to the table ice cold and their dressing is absolutely delicious. Don’t get me started on their breadsticks either because I can easily take down two baskets by myself using them to sop up the Zuppa Toscana.
Zuppa Toscana is a creamy sausage and potato soup with hints of smoky bacon and laced with kale. This is total comfort food and always something I’m in the mood for, even when it’s 100 degrees here in Houston and thankfully my family agrees. It also tastes infinitely better than the restaurant’s version.
After browsing the grocery store condiment aisle my eye caught a bottle of Olive Gardens’ Italian Dressing and I ended up grabbing a bottle to recreate their salad. I just had to have the breadsticks and soup to go with it as well.
Making this at home is better on the budget and while you aren’t necessarily eating healthy it is healthier anytime you are in control of the ingredients and preparation.
I have put my own touch on this soup by using spicy Italian sausage and taking a shortcut by using frozen chopped kale when in a pinch. I absolutely recommend using fresh kale when you can but this particular night I had a bag of frozen in the freezer.
I also recommend making a double or triple batch because my family easily polished off a double batch for dinner and enough leftovers for a lunch the next day. I was totally bummed when I was still craving it for dinner the next night.
Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana (Sausage, Bacon, Potato and Kale Soup)
Makes 6 Servings
Stars of the Show:
- 2 packages ground spicy Italian sausage
- 10 strips thick cut bacon, diced
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 6 large red potatoes, peeled and diced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- Italian seasoning, to taste
- 1 cup heaving whipping cream
- 1 bunch of kale, torn into bite size pieces
- salt and pepper, to taste
- shredded parmesan cheese, if desired
When the sausages and bacon are nicely browned and crispy add in the potatoes, chicken broth and water (add more water if needed to cover the potatoes). Add the garlic and Italian seasoning.
Cook for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Add kale, cream, salt and pepper and cook for a further 5-10 minutes or until the kale is soft and wilted. Top individual soup bowls with parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!