I have to admit, I’m really not a huge fan of Olive Garden.
Okay, okay… here’s the deal: I don’t like olives, I don’t eat raw onions in my salad, and I don’t really use anything other than ranch or thousand island as my salad dressing, therefore their salad never had that much of an appeal to me. On top of that, every pasta dish I’ve ever gotten left me feeling bloated afterwards.
However, back in the day when I was a poor college student, their unlimited soup, salad, and breadstick deal was probably one of the cheapest all-you-can-eat lunch deals around. And every time I went there for lunch, the only soup I would always get was their zuppa Toscana.
“Would you like to try some of our other soups?” the waiter would ask.
“No, I’ll just have another bowl of the zuppa Toscana again, thanks” was always my reply.
To me, soaking those warm, melt-in-your-mouth garlicky breadsticks into something other than the spicy, creamy soup just didn’t seem right.
It’s perhaps on the list of my favorite soups of all-time. And now that I know how to make it, I’ll probably never have to dine at Olive Garden ever again!
This soup is amazing, and if you like spicy sausage, potatoes, and kale, then this is the soup for you! It’s the perfect warm-me-up soup for the frigid Minnesota weather – filling, satisfying, delicious, spicy, and creamy.
Mmmm mmmm mmm!
I omitted and substituted just a few things to make it a healthier version so I won’t feel as guilty when I devour multiple bowls of this tonight. :)
- 1 pound of spicy turkey sausage
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 cups (32 oz) unsalted chicken broth
- 4-5 small russet potatoes, cubed (or 2-3 large ones… or if you love potatoes as much as I do, put as much as you want in there)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2-2.5 cups kale, stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
- In a large pot, brown the sausage. Drain the fat, leaving a little bit on the bottom of the pan for the onions.
- Push the sausage toward the edges of the pot, then add the onions in the middle. Sauté the onions in the center under medium-high heat for about 30 seconds, then stir onions with sausage together in the pot. Cook for an additional minute or until onions are translucent.
- Add garlic to meat mixture. Sauté for another 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken stock and the potatoes to the pot. Add the salt, black and white pepper. Bring to a boil, and turn heat down to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are almost tender.
- Add kale and heavy whipping cream. Bring to a boil and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until kale is no longer crunchy.
- Serve with shredded Parmesan cheese if desired.
Note: if you add the kale when your potatoes are completely done, the potatoes may turn a tad too mushy in the end. I added the kale when my potatoes were almost done, that way the potatoes can finish cooking while you’re simmering the soup.
[Update from later that night…] I’m definitely going to be putting this soup under my list of “comfort foods”. I’m pretty sure I ended up with a food coma after two bowls of soup. I was satisfied, full, and ready for bed at 9:30p.m.
Recipe adapted from: SteadNPotatoesKindaGurl