My boys love the Zuppa Toscana soup at Olive Garden... or at least the version of it their aunt makes. It was always one of my favorites as well. Cream soups laden with sausage and potato? Yum. I love dairy, but unfortunately it doesn't always love me back, so I often try to find ways to cut it out where I can. While I don't know how much the changes affected my soup in the nutritional data department, I do know that the flavor was fantastic and I had two boys who left the table with empty bowls which is always a good sign. So how did I make our version of the soup? Let's get down to the nitty gritty shall we?
The Boy's Zuppa
- 1/2 med fennel(anise) bulb, chopped
- 1/2 med white onion, chopped
- 3-4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup Chardonnay
- 1 lb chicken or turkey Hot Italian Sausage
- 1 lb chicken or turkey Sweet Italian Sausage
- 6 sm - med russet potatoes washed, skin on
- 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 6 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 1-2 bunches of kale, cleaned and chopped
- 2 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Lower the heat and add the fennel, white onion, and garlic. Cook until transparent and starting to caramelize. Pour in the Chardonnay to de-glaze the pan.
Add the Italian Sausage to the pan and cook thoroughly. Drain excess oil and any grease from the meat mixture. Return to pan. Add the potatoes, Italian seasoning, and chicken stock.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes become tender, careful not to over cook them. Skim off any excess grease from the surface of the soup.
Add the chopped kale and the Almond milk. Return to a simmer. Allow to cook until the kale is wilted, about another 10 minutes.
You are ready to serve!
Doesn't that look delish? I have to be honest. It's not as creamy as the Zuppa Toscana that my sister introduced us to years ago, but it was still pleasing to our tummies and we left the table satisfied and smiling. If you give this recipe a try, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. I am sure the wine addition isn't super healthy, but I love the flavor of wine in cooking. Happy eating, my friends!