Ever visited your nearby Olive Garden, and tried their Toscana soup? I find it quite delicious, but as good as it is, there is always a way to make it better: Make it cost less, and add more bacon. Today, we’ve got a recipe here that will give you an amazing taste, and perhaps an even better taste than the Olive Garden. This is Zuppa Toscana with bacon, and it’s all yours for the making. Go ahead. You know you want to.
This will make about 2 gallons of the stuff, allowing you to enjoy the soup 12 times (or, you could I suppose share it with 11 other people, but we don’t advise it).
- 1 lb. ground Italian sausages, mild or spicy if you’d like
- 4-6 russet potatoes, thinly sliced or you can peel them and dice
- 1 – 1.5 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 4 tablespoons of real bacon pieces (Required. Feel free to use more as well)
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic (about 3-4 cloves)
- 10 cups of water, divided
- 7 teaspoons ‘better than bouillon’ chicken base
- 1/3 bunch of fresh kale, stemmed and torn
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt and pepper
- Shredded pecorino romano cheese OR parmesan cheese (Optional)
- In a large pot on medium-high heat add the ground sausage and crushed red pepper flakes. Using a spatula, break up the sausage until it’s cooked through. Pour sausage into a large bowl and set aside.
- In the same pot add the olive oil, chopped onion, and bacon pieces until the onions become translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of water to the pot and stir well. Add the chicken concentrate and stir to combine. Then add the remaining 8 cups of water.
- Add potatoes and cook until fork tender. Add a little salt to the broth if necessary to make sure the potatoes will absorb for maximum flavor.
- After potatoes are done, add the cooked sausage back into the soup. Skim off most of the fat from the sausage that floats onto the surface.
- Add the fresh kale and stir in to allow the leaves to soften slightly.
- Add the heavy cream and stir. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish each serving with shredded parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, if desired.
- Enjoy this delicious soup. Don’t feel obligated to share. After all, you did all the work, and you deserve it.