Tuesday, October 7, 2014

zuppa toscana (an Olive Garden copycat)

as i've grown to be somewhat of a food snob i find that i can't bring myself to chain restaurants with any anticipation of enjoying a meal there. there are however a few items that i actually don't mind and from time to time even find myself missing though. pizookies at BJ's, cheddar biscuits at Red Lobster or bottomless fries at Red Robin's come to mind. but one thing that i've always loved, despite their grotesque overcooked pastas is the zuppa toscana at Olive Garden. it's so damn warm and tasty. eating that soup is like getting an internal hug on a cold long day. while i could probably go to Olive Garden and join in on their all-you-can-eat soup, salad and breadsticks deal, i prefer to make the soup at home because at home nobody will judge you for slopping down multiple bowls of soup. and in place of their breadsticks, i like to toast up some nice crusty, chewy bread from Acme or Tartine for dunking.

zuppa toscana


-1 lb mild italian sausage
-1 large onion, chopped
-4 garlic cloves, minced
-1/2 c white wine for deglazing
-1 tsp red pepper flakes
-2 russet potatoes, cut into cubes
-5 c fresh kale, chopped
-3 c chicken broth
-2 1/2 c water
-1 c heavy cream
-salt and pepper


1. in a large stockpot over medium heat, crumble and brown sausage
2. set sausage aside
3. in the same stockpot, cook onions until softened
4. add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant (about 1 min)
5. add wine to the stockpot to deglaze (scraping off all of the browned bits)
6. add potatoes, kale, chicken broth, water and sausage to the pot
7. increase the heat to medium high until it begins to boil
8. once boiling, reduce heat to medium low
9. allow soup to simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender
10. stir in heavy cream and season with salt and pepper

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