This is a great day for soup! This is a day for Olive Garden Toscana Soup!
I’m sitting in my office at home looking out the window at freshly fallen snow in our backyard. We had a crazy snowstorm (it gets a bit crazy in Portland when we have significant snow) yesterday, and another 3-5 inches is expected for later this afternoon.
My husband and I have both been fighting pesky head colds for several days now, so we decided a big pot of soup was just the ticket for us to have around for 1) the snowstorm, and 2) leftovers, so I wouldn’t have to cook too much while sick. It was a really good idea (we occasionally have good ideas!)
Once we settled on what KIND of soup it was easy: A big pot of Toscana Soup, a copycat version of the popular soup found at Olive Garden. I dug out my trusty cookbook called “Top Secret Restaurant Recipes”, by Todd Wilbur… and got busy in the kitchen.
I can’t count how many times I have made this recipe over the years…it’s always soooo tasty and filling (and ridiculously easy to make, too!). The blended flavors of Italian sausage, potatoes and kale (which I conveniently grow in our garden) are wonderful in a light, creamy broth. Seriously good soup! Perfect way to warm up on a cold, snowy day…or any time you want a great bowl of soup!
Hope you will give it a try and will discover, if you haven’t already, just how delicious this soup really is!
- 4 Italian sausage links (mild or hot flavors are okay-I typically use mild)
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 3/4 cup milk (for an even creamier version, use heavy whipping cream, then omit the butter)
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 3 cups chopped kale
- 3 small russet potatoes- unpeeled (or 1 1/2 large potatoes-unpeeled)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Grill or sauté the sausages till done (approx. 15 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool. Once sausage has cooled, slice the sausages at an angle into slices about 1/2 inch thick.
- In a large saucepan, combine the chicken stock and the milk/butter (or heavy cream) over medium heat.
- Add the grilled Italian sausage slices and kale to the soup.
- Slice the unpeeled potatoes into 1/4 inch slices, and then quarter each slice. Add the quartered potato slices to the soup
- Add the spices (salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes) to taste.
- Let the soup simmer on low, uncovered for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.