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There is something about soup in the fall that really warms my belly. The air has turned cold & crisp & so I am in a soup making mood. I love Olive Garden! Unfortunately we rarely eat there, but when we do I never get the salad, I always stick with the Zuppa Toscana.
My husband has his salad all to himself & I enjoy my bowl of delicious soup. I am so glad I made this at-home version because it shares a lot of characteristics of the real deal: creamy broth, tender potatoes, spicy sausage, & hearty kale. My husband has never tried this soup from Olive Garden, but he said, “If it tastes like what you just made, then it must be good!” This makes a lot for our little family of four so great leftovers for the lunch the next day!
- 1 lb HOT sausage
- 1 onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6-7 medium red potatoes (scrubbed, halved, & sliced)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups skim milk
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (If you can't handle a lot of heat, either do the spicy sausage OR the red pepper flakes, we did both & it was pretty spicy.)
- 1/2 tsp thyme (If you use mild Italian sausage, you won't need this.)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups kale (de-veined & chopped)
- Salt & Pepper
- In a stock-pot, over medium-high heat, brown sausage, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks. Drain fat & set aside.
- In the same stock-pot add onion & minced garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until translucent. (It should cook just fine in the little bit of grease left in the pot from the sausage, but if you need to, add a drop of olive oil.)
- Add potatoes, chicken broth, skim milk, water, red pepper flakes, & thyme. Simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- Return sausage back to pot, & add heavy cream & kale to the soup. Heat through about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat & season with salt & pepper. Serve topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese.