Monday, May 19, 2008

Let's Have Soup

Do you ever have those days when you look in your kitchen and are completely dumbfounded as to what to make for dinner? I had a day like that today. I was just so sick of making the same old stuff over and over (can you say "rut"?).

I had been searching forever for a copycat recipe of Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana, but nothing I found seemed to sound like it would turn out like theirs. I wanted something hearty, slightly creamy, kind of spicy, and totally yummy. So, I decided to adapt two or three recipes I found online, so I could make my own with what I had in my kitchen.

Mehgan's Zuppa Toscana:

-1 lb spicy ground sausage (I like to use the SPICY kind)
-6 red potatoes, thinly sliced (you can peel them if you want, but I left the peel on)
-1 medium onion, diced
-3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced
-1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
-3 cans of chicken broth
-1 cup heavy cream
-2 bunches of kale

Instructions: In a stock pot, over medium heat, brown the sausage with the red pepper flakes, onion and garlic. Add the chicken broth, bring to a simmer. Add half the potatoes and return to a simmer. Reduce heat slightly and cover. Once the potatoes become soft, add the other half (the first half of potatoes will help to thicken the soup). Once the second half of potatoes is fork-tender, add the heavy cream. Let simmer 5-10 minutes. Add the kale just prior to serving.

My thoughts: This was probably the most amazing last-minute meal I've made in a LONG time. I must thank my big sister for helping me with this recipe, because that girl sure does know her potatoes! She was right there the whole time, helping me chop and dice and stir. And even though it was still pretty warm in our house (the temperature was pushing 80F when I got home from work), it was still nice to have a meal that wasn't super heavy and didn't leave me feeling weighed down (not to say that this was the most diet-friendly meal on God's green Earth, but you know what I mean). Anyway, this soup only takes about an hour and half to make from start to finish, which isn't too bad, since you don't have to babysit it the whole time. Plus, it tastes so close to the "real thing" that you'll really like the fact that you didn't have to pay $6 a bowl for it. Enjoy!



marye said...

looks great mehgan! I make this often in the winter.

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