Italy: Zuppa Toscana Italy: Zuppa Toscana - ImagesGram

Italy: Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana is a soup available at The Olive Garden restaurant.
Zuppa toscana is a broad based term literally meaning "Tuscan soup". Classic zuppa toscana normally is a soup made from kale, zucchini, cannellini beans, potatoes, celery, carrots, onion, tomato pulp, extra virgin olive oil, salt, powdered chili, toasted Tuscan bread, and rigatino (an Italian bacon).

The onion, carrots and celery are diced and tossed in hot oil and salt. The other vegetables are then added with the chili and cooked for about 15 minutes. Water is added and the mixture is simmered for around 30 minutes. The soup is served on toasted Tuscan bread, with just a tiny splash of extra virgin olive oil.

A North American version, popularized by Olive Garden and made with Italian sausage, crushed red peppers, diced white onion, bacon, garlic puree, chicken bouillon, heavy cream, potatoes, and kale is richer and more caloric than the original.

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. Spicy Italian Sausage - Crumbled
  • 1/2 lb. Smoked Bacon - Chopped (One can also use precooked bacon bits for this)
  • 1 qt. Water
  • (2) 14.5 Oz. Cans Chicken Broth
  • (2) lg. Russet Potatoes - Cubed
  • 2 Garlic Cloves - Crushed
  • 1 med. Onion - Chopped
  • 2 cups Chopped Kale or Swiss Chard
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Procedure:
  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown sausage, breaking into small pieces as you fry it. Drain and set aside.
  2. In skillet over medium-high heat, brown bacon. Drain and set aside.
  3. Place water, broth, potatoes, garlic, and onion into a pot. Simmer over high heat until potatoes are tender.
  4. Add sausage and bacon to the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add kale/chard and cream to the pot. Seasons with salt and pepper; heat through.Bon appétit!
Notes, tips, and variations: Potatoes can be substituted with cauliflower for a low carbohydrate version of this soup. I also used 1/2 mild 1/2 spicy turkey sausage instead of pork sausage. Sometimes, fennel is used.