November 16, 2010

Toscana Soup

Juli is a big fan of the Toscana Soup served at Olive Garden, and asked me to make some for her.   She found a recipe online that claimed to be the same one used by Olive Garden, and I glanced at a couple other online recipes to get the feel for the basics of the soup before giving it a try.

I served it with garlic breadsticks, spaghetti and warmed up marinara and meatballs I froze a few weeks ago.  The soup turned out pretty good... creamy, hearty and filling, and with a nice blend of flavors. 

Juli was quite pleased with it, and that made me happy.  Beyond that, I'm starting to become something of a fan of kale.

Toscana Soup

yield = 4-5 meal-size servings

1        pound Italian sausage
2        teaspoons olive oil
1        onion, chopped fine
3/4     teaspoon minced garlic
3        medium potatoes, cut lengthwise and then cut into 1/4" slices
2        tablespoons chicken soup base
3        kale leaves, ribs removed, greens sliced
1/2     cup heavy cream

Cook the sausage in a large Dutch oven.  Remove and drain the sausage, then set it aside.

Wipe out the Dutch oven, then add the olive oil, heating it on medium.  Add the onions and cook until they are soft, then add the garlic and cook an additional minute.  Add 5 cups of water, the soup base and the sliced potatoes.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes

Add the sausage, kale and cream, return to a boil, then simmer 4-5 minutes.  Serve.

I rolled bulk Italian sausage into little balls and cooked it that way, but you could just as well use loose sausage, or cook and slice up sausage links.


  1. Your soup looks so warm and satisfying. I love that there is kale added in. Delicious!

  2. Thank you! While Juli has long been a fan of this sort of soup, I was surprised at how much I ended up liking it, as I generally prefer soups with thicker broths. This soup really is hearty and satisfying, though, thanks to ample amounts of potatoes, sausage, the cream and the kale. I started cooking with Kale only very recently, and in a very short time it has become one of my favorite vegetables. Substantial yet leavy, with a distinct flavor that doesn't overwhelm, and it doesn't wilt as soon as a bit of heat is applied... what's not to like about that? I'm going to research and try out some more kale recipes, and from there I'll no doubt be coming up with some of my own, but in the meanwhile, the Toscana soup has ended itself on my "go-to recipes" short list.