Olive Garden’s Toscana soup recipe has always been one of my favorites, especially with their San Remo dip. Ever since Olive Garden took the San Remo dip off the menu, I haven’t been back. It made for the perfect meal.
With winter here, Toscana soup is a great comfort food, especially when stuck in the house. At times, winter in New England can be a challenge but as long as I can eat well, it makes the winter tolerable. Now if I can get someone to dig me out.
Knowing I was going to be snowed in for a while, I wanted to make Olive Garden’s Toscana soup and ride out the storm. I had never tried making my own version of this soup and started looking up a few recipes. I came across a Toscana soup recipe that was a good starting point, but wanted to kick it up a notch.
This is my version of a recipe I found. It came out better than Olive garden’s recipe and have received many compliments on it. Perfect for a winter day.
1 LB spicy Italian Sausage
4 sliced diced smoked bacon
1 diced medium onion
2 tbls diced garlic
1 cup flour (more or less)
10 cups chicken stock or water and 5 chicken bouillon cubes
1 lb diced potatoes
2-3 tbls tomato paste
1 cup heavy cream
1 bunch of kale (as little or as much as you want), chopped
Saute bacon till fat is rendered. Add spicy Italian sausage and cook till browned. Add diced onion and garlic and cook a few minutes. I like using the pork fat for flavor so I add flour to mixture to make a roux. If you don’t want it, drain off fat. But like Emeril says, “pork fat rules”.
Add chicken stock or water and bouillon cubes and simmer maybe 30 minutes or so. Add diced potatoes and continue to simmer about 20 minutes. Add tomato paste to taste, heavy cream and as much or as little kale as you want. The Toscana soup seems to get better the longer you simmer it.
As you can see this recipe makes a large pot of soup, however with me tasting as I go, I usually eat a 1/4 of it before it even hits the table. This Toscana soup recipe is perfect on a cold winter’s day. I hope you give it a try.
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