Olive Garden offers its patrons three kinds of traditional Italian soups - Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Beans), Classic Minestrone, and Zuppa Toscana. While I like all three soups, I'm especially fond of the Zuppa Toscana. Anyone who says "Zuppa Toscana" isn't Tuscan, obviously doesn't know Tuscan food. It's about as Tuscan as you can get. Below is a recipe that duplicates it well as it was taken directly from Olive Garden's own cookbook. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Pair it with a salad and a loaf of crusty bread and you'll have a nutritious and filling meal.
Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana
1 lb ground Italian sausage
1 ½ tsp. crushed red peppers
1 large diced white onion
4 T. bacon pieces
2 tsp. garlic puree
10 C. water
5 cubes of chicken bouillon
1 C. heavy cream
1 lb. sliced Russet potatoes, about 3 large potatoes
¼ of a bunch of fresh kale
1. Saute Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in pot.
2. Drain excess fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.
3. In the same pan, saute bacon, onions and garlic for approxiamtly 15 mins. or until the onions are soft.
4. Mix together the chicken bouillon and water, then add it to the onions, bacon and garlic. Cook until boiling.
5. Add potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
6. Add heavy cream and cook until thoughouly heated.
7. Stir in the sausage.
8. Add kale just before serving.
This is really delicious!