Monday, February 18, 2013

Olive Garden Copycat Zuppa Toscana - Lightened Up!

Oh yes! The perfect cold weather comfort food. I mean seriously, this is the food version of a warm, fuzzy blanket in front of a blazing fire when it is snowing outside, with a cup of hot cocoa in hand.  Which almost describes my weekend, seeing as how our downstairs heating unit went out this week...so we spent a lot of time huddled up in the living room in front of the fireplace, b/c for whatever reason, it takes a week for the part to come in.  These heat people need to get with the program, I mean helloooo?  What about over night delivery?!  Anyway.  That's a gripe for another day.  This soup is so warm and comforting, it will make you forget about the frigid temps.  

Not only is it delicious, it's also pretty good for you, thanks to reducing the cream and a good amount of the superfood, kale!  Yes, under all that cream and sausage, there has been a leafy green hiding.  Even better, these changes were made without sacrificing the flavor we know and love from this very popular soup.
I've had a few friends waiting patiently for me to get this recipe posted since I put a pic on FB the other day, so here goes!

Olive Garden Copycat Zuppa Toscana - lightened up!
 adapted from Food.com 

1 lb Italian Chicken Sausage (see notes)
3 medium baking potatoes, with skins (1/8 to 1/4 inch slices-see notes)
1 large chopped onion
1/8-1/4 cup bacon bits (optional)
2 cloves minced garlic
2 1/2 (packed) cups kale, stalks removed and chopped
16 oz. chicken broth
1 quart water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup fat free half and half
1/4 cup skim milk

NOTES: 
  • I used Spicy Chipotle Chicken Sausage b/c that is what I had on hand.  Hot Italian Chicken Sausage would be excellent however.
  • Slicing the potatoes in varying widths helps add texture to the soup. The very thinly sliced potatoes 'dissolve' into the broth, making it thicker and creamier.
  • I used a 1/2 cup heavy cream b/c I happened to have some leftover from another recipe, however, next time, I will only use half-and-half and milk. Cream is delicious, but not really necessary, and will reduce the fat even more by leaving it out.
Directions
Remove sausage from casings and cook in a large pot over medium high heat until done. 
 Remove sausage, add onions, and cook on medium heat until translucent.  
Add garlic to onions and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds or so). 
Add sausage back to pot, then add broth and water.  
Bring to a boil, and add potatoes.  
Cook on medium high until potatoes are done.  
Add bacon bits to soup if using.  I used about an 1/8 cup of Hormel Peppered Bacon Bits.
Taste, and add salt and pepper if desired.  I didn't add any.
Turn heat to low, and add kale, cream (if using), half-and-half, and skim milk.
Heat through, and serve!

VERDICT - This soup was creamy, delicious, filling with a slightly spicy kick.  In my opinion, it tasted very much like the original, but I have only had it at Olive Garden once, a few months ago.  However, this is definitely on my list to make again very soon.

I am linking this recipe up at (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaHolly's Stamping AddictionThe Dedicated HouseHomemaker on a Dime,Delightfully DowlingSkip to my LouProject InspireMaking the World CuterMrs. Happy HomemakerI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksWatch Out, Martha!My Favorite Finds (Tuesday) Snappee TurtleNaptime CreationsMandy's Recipe BoxPocket Change Gourmet,  33 Shades of GreenBlessed with GraceZentmrs. & The Mr., Memories By the Mile (Wednesday) Fluster BusterSemi Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsHungry Little GirlNaptime is My Time (Thursday)Designed DecorTaste and Tell,  Miz Helen's Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,  The Busy Bee's(Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryMummy DealsOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy  (Saturday) Sassy Little Lady Lemons for Lulu,  Or So She Says...Six Sisters' Stuff, (Sunday) Mommy's Sweet Confessions   


22 comments:

  1. Oh man, I cannot imagine being without heat! I'd go crazy for sure. I'd also definitely need many bowls of this soup! Looks so tasty!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You had me at spicy chipotle chicken sausage! I think I've been to Olive Garden once many moons ago - this is definitely up my alley, but I'll have to sub in spinach for the kale. Yum!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is my favorite soup at Olive Garden. Pinning bc I need to make this pronto!

    ReplyDelete
  4. you have mentioned nice recipes of pictures so that i love them , thanks for sharing me

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh boy...my favorite soup from OG! Thanks for linking this up at Show Off Your Shell Party #5!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love this soup from Olive Garden. But, I bet yours is much healthier. Thanks for sharing at Must Try Monday.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Followed you over from Memories by the Mile link up. This is my FAVORITE soup from The Olive Garden. I will definitely be trying this. Thanks for sharing!

    Jackie
    www.thenonmarthamomma.com
    www.facebook.com/TheNonMarthaMomma.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for bringing this by to Tumbleweed Contessa's What'd You Do This Weekend party. This sounds so good and easy to make. Great pictures.

    Don't forget to come back by next week!

    Thanks for sharing,
    Linda

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is such a great dish. Would love for you to share at my linky party going on right now. http://www.mandatorymooch.blogspot.com/2013/02/tasty-thursdays-29.html

    Thanks, Nichi - The Mandatory Mooch

    ReplyDelete
  10. Looks delicious! That's my FAVORITE soup there! Thanks for sharing!

    Mona

    ReplyDelete
  11. This soup looks awesome. I will have to try it! Found you on Diana Rambles!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Stopping by from Diana Rambles. THis looks delicious! Pinning now. Thanks!
    Christine from MyEpicureanAdventures.com :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. This looks delicious! My husband was just raving about this soup! I can't wait to make it for him!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by! Let me know if you make it!

      Delete
  14. This looks really good and my kids might accidentally eat kale! Thanks for sharing it with us on foodie friday.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm going to make this one for sure! You will be one of the features tomorrow at the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Pop on in and grab a feature button. Hope to see your prettiness again at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Kim,
    Your Copycat Zuppa looks delicious, I just love that dish. Hope you have a fabulous week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

    ReplyDelete
  17. This looks so yummy! I have pinned this and featured in on Sunday's These are a few of my favorite things. Thanks for sharing at Fluster's Creative Muster. I'm looking forward to seeing what you link up next week.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This looks wonderful! What a great dinner for the winter months.

    ReplyDelete
  19. My favorite soup! This looks delicious. I love how you've lightened it up. That al fresco sausage is amazing. Thanks for another fantastic use for it. Yum!

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...