Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup

I'm fairly certain that if Bimmer Man could only eat one soup for the rest of his life he would have a VERY hard time deciding between Zuppa Toscana and Byerly's Minnesota Wild Rice with Chicken soup. I would take Zuppa Toscana.

Simple, delicious, easy to make, and well, I'd consider it fairly healthy. But I'm also NOT a nutritionist and I'm sure a nutritionist would say LEAVE OUT THE CREAM. LEAVE OUT THE CREAM. No, oh, no, I would NEVER leave out the cream. That's what makes it so delicious. Even the Monkey eats this - though she's also been on a soup kick lately, so I've been trying to make as many soups as I can to decipher exactly what my toddler will eat (which is a feat in itself...).

Gather your delicious supplies - basically kale, potatoes, shallots, chicken stock and not pictured is the sausage - I used a bulk sausage instead of sausage in casings. If it's in casings, you can either just slice it to brown it or take it out of the casings. No big deal. Olive Garden doesn't peel their potatoes, I like my potatoes peeled, pick whatever you want. 

Brown the sausage first with the shallots and some garlic. Then add in the chicken stock, potatoes, kale, some salt and pepper. Let it simmer for 25 - 35 minutes or until potatoes are nice and soft.

I wanted to make this so I could freeze it. I put cream in each bowl to serve instead of in the soup. Cream soups that I've frozen have NEVER turned out as well after re-heating. It's like the cream curdles or it just doesn't taste quite right.

Copy Cat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

1 lb sausage - I like mild Italian sausage for this
4 Russet potatoes cut into bite size pieces
1 - 2 shallots, chopped (if you like onions, use 2)
1 - 2 bunches of kale, chopped into bite size pieces (I used 1 1/2 bunches of kale because I like kale)
2 cartons of chicken stock (I used 2 cartons of Kirkland brand from Costco)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Cream - just enough to serve, so 1 - 2 tbsp per person

Brown the sausage and drain it.

Saute the shallots with the garlic until translucent. Add back the sausage. Add in the potatoes, half the stock, then add in more stock if you want it "soupier." Simmer for 10 - 15 minutes. Add in the kale and simmer another 15 - 20 minutes.

Serve with 1 - 2 tbsp of cream in each bowl. 

I froze the rest of the soup in family size portions - then I just buy fresh cream when I serve this for dinner or lunch.

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