This Olive Garden copycat Zuppa Toscana is incredibly easy to prepare and is so much better than the original!
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Last week Brian and I were eating this soup at Olive Garden and talking about how amazingly delicious it was (I was soooo hungry that day!). Then I suddenly remembered I had beautiful KALE ready to be picked in my little garden. 🙂
This is my first garden in a long time, and I had forgotten how rewarding it is.
It’s a little raised bed garden behind the fence that has brought so much enjoyment! 🙂
So I told Brian, “I know I can figure out this recipe and use my kale from the garden.” I actually like it better than the restaurant version and it smells so good while it’s simmering.
Olive Garden Copycat Zuppa Toscana – So amazingly easy to make at home and a million times better than the original!
- 5 slices thick cut bacon
- 1 (20-ounce) package hot Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (about 1/2 of a large onion)
- 1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
- 1 (32-ounce) container chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 4 medium russet potatoes (about 1-1/2 pounds), cleaned, rinsed and cut into about 1-inch pieces.
- 1 teaspoon salt (more or less, to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper (more or less, to taste)
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 cups tightly packed chopped kale with large stems removed
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Optional: Shredded Parmesan cheese, for topping
- In a dutch oven or large soup pot, fry bacon over medium high heat until thoroughly cooked (about 5 minutes). Remove bacon and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Pour off grease in pot.
- Add sausage to the same pot and cook until browned and no longer pink, crumbling as it cooks (about 5-6 minutes). Place sausage on a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Pour off grease in pot, leaving about 1 tablespoon.
- Add onions to pot and cook until soft, stirring frequently (about 4-5 minutes).
- Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add chicken broth, water, potatoes, salt, pepper, sugar and nutmeg to pot. Stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes).
- While the soup is simmering, dice the bacon slices.
- Add kale and cook until kale is tender, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add heavy cream, cooked sausage and diced bacon. Stir to combine and cook an additional 2-3 minutes to heat sausage and bacon.