Ever since I stumbled upon Olive Garden's Zuppa Tuscano, I've been in love. I'd often order only soup and salad so I could have all the Zuppa Tuscano I could eat. Seriously one of the best soups I've had to this day. Long before the days when I became accustomed to looking for recipes online I attempted to make my own version. I was pretty proud and surprised that I actually felt it was a pretty good ringer for it.
I have since compared mine to all the recipes online and have found the essence to be the same, so it looks like I did know what I was doing all this time! I've been making this for years with no formal written recipe, just winging it from memory. After making some for dinner (and finishing it today for lunch), I finally decided to record my recipe and share it.
My version has a couple surprise ingredients that I promise won't take away from the original recipe. In my recipe I added frozen crinkle carrots. This is not in Olive Garden's recipe. I added it to help bulk up this recipe without adding more potatoes. Using frozen is super easy, it cooks up fast and no cutting. This also makes it healthier, and stretches further and is therefore cheaper pure serving too. You won't even notice the difference I promise.
I also swapped heavy cream for half and half to cut down on fat and calories. I then added Alfredo sauce too add some more flavor, cheesiness, and creaminess. Alfredo sauce is really a white sauce with cheese, so it uses a thickener (often corn starch) to add a little body to the soup.
Zuppa Tuscano Soup (Olive Garden's Copy Cat Recipe)
- 1 pound(s) Italian Sausage (spicy)
- 4-6 Organic Russet Potatoes, cut into bite sized cubes
- 1 Onion :minced
- 1/4 cup REAL bacon pieces
- 1/2 lb (8 oz) of frozen sliced carrots
- 2 tablespoon(s) Garlic :minced
- 32 ounces Chicken Broth
- 1/2 bunch(es) Kale (or Swiss Chard) :destem & cut/torn into bite sized pieces (can sub arugula roughly chopped as garnish)
- 1 cup organic half and half
- 1/2 cup favourite organic alfredo sauce
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- shredded Asiago or parmesan cheese to taste (optional)
- Sauté Italian sausage in a skillet, breaking it up into small pieces, cook through.
- In a sauce pan, sauté bacon, onions and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 mins. or until the onions are soft.
- Add chicken bouillon, Alfredo sauce, and water to the pot and heat until it starts to boil.
- Add the sliced potatoes and frozen carrots and cook until soft, about half an hour.
- Add the half and half and just cook until thoroughly heated.
- Stir in the sausage and the kale, let all heat through and serve with freshly ground pepper and shredded Asiago or parmesan cheese to taste.
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