LISA’S ZUPPA TOSCANA (OLIVE GARDEN COPYCAT)
- 1 lb / 500g Italian sausages (spicy) (Note 1)
- 1/3 cup bacon , diced
- 1 brown onion (large), peeled and diced
- 4 – 6 garlic cloves , minced (I like garlicky, so I use 6)
- 1 lb / 500g potatoes (Note 2), peeled and cut into 1 1/2 cm / 3/5″ cubes (2 large or 4 small)
- 4 cups / 32 oz / 1 litre chicken broth / stock
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 cup cream (not whipped) (Note 3)
- 2 cups kale leaves , torn into bite size pieces (can substitute with spinach, swiss chard / silverbeet)
- Salt and pepper , to taste
- Cayenne pepper , to taste
Remove the sausage from the casings. (Note 4)
Heat a large heavy based pot over high heat. Add the sausage meat into the pan and cook, breaking up the meat into largish chunks, until nicely browned (around 3 minutes). Remove sausage into a bowl.
Add the bacon and fry until browned. Reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish, then transfer the rest into the bowl with the sausage meat.
Turn the stove down to medium high. If the pan is looking dry (depends on fattiness of sausages and bacon), add a bit of oil and return to the stove. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent and garlic is fragrant – around 2 minutes.
Return the sausage meat and bacon into the pot. Add the potatoes and chicken broth / stock. Bring to a simmer then lower stove to low (so it bubbles gently) and cook for at least 1 hour, preferably 1 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally.
Mix together the flour with 2 tbsp of cream in a bowl until a “slurry” forms, then add the rest of the cream and stir until combined.
Stir cream mixture into the soup and let it simmer for a further 15 minutes or until the soup is thickened. Stir through the kale a couple of minutes before the soup is ready to come off the stove.
Add salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.
Remove from stove. Serve, garnished with reserved bacon.