I love Olive Garden’s Endless Soup and Salad…It has been 2 years since I have been to an Olive Garden though! I try to make all of our food fresh (no frozen dinners or lunches in this house!) and healthy! My kids (5 & 8) LOVE this soup and I love that they love it and eat all of the greens in it! Since changing to a healthy lifestyle last year (started juicing, eating more vegan based diets, then moving to mostly our chicken, our turkey, and wild caught fish from HEB…we used to eat mostly red meats and lots of Carbs. You know the Good Ole American Diet!) I try to not use as much pork or beef unless I buy it from local stores. However, I make exceptions b/c I am not a Nazi and I have to be realistic about food and what we want to eat. So anyways, here is the recipe that I found from food.com or allrecipes.com with a few changes. People love this recipe everytime I make it and it really does taste just like Olive Garden’s Famous Zuppa Toscana!
1 lb. Italian Sausage (I look for the ground sausage or the sausages stuffed in that clear packaging that looks like brats. I cut them open and squeeze it into the pan)
3-4 Large Potatoes or 6-7 Small Ones
1 Large Onion, Chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced or 2 Tablespoons minced garlic in a jar
16 ounces chicken broth
1 Quart Water
1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 bunch of Kale
4 slices of bacon (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Brown the sausage in your soup pot; start cooking the bacon in a separate skillet too
2. Add Chicken Broth and Water to Pot
3. Drop Onions, potatoes, and garlic in the pot.
4. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done (15-20 minutes on propane)
5. Add Bacon (optional)
6. Salt and pepper to taste
7. Simmer 10 minutes
8. Turn to low heat
9. Add Whipping Cream, heat through
10. Add Kale right before you serve it (5 minutes or less), the crispiness is amazing!
11. Add Red Pepper flakes for extra spice (a teaspoon or so)
I forgot to mention that I like to peel the potatoes and chop them into edible bites, usually quarters. But you can do it however you want. Also, it is very easy to double this recipe and freeze. Just do not add the kale until the soup is ready to be heated up again. This way it is not soggy or discolored from sitting in the soup frozen and thawed again. I will double this recipe in all aspects except the meat (b/c I forgot to buy more), and freeze half of it. It is so easy and so good, I can’t help but love the leftovers with fresh kale in it! Enjoy!