Thursday, January 30, 2014

Olive Garden Toscana Soup--at home!

Olive Garden Toscana Soup
from "A Treasury of Top Secret Recipes"

2 3/4 cups chicken stock or broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 medium russet potato
2 cups chopped kale
1/2 pound spicy Italian sausage
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

First a few opinions, then the directions.  I don't add the salt because the chicken broth, to my taste buds, provides enough salt.  If I use spicy Italian sausage, I omit the red pepper flakes.  When I use mild sausage, I add them.  I like using red/new potatoes as they don't cook to mush as the russet tends to, but in a pinch, I'll use any type potato I have on hand.  The recipe says simmer for an hour, but 45' is often enough.  This recipe doubles easily.  

1.  Saute the sausage.  Drain.  
2.  Combine the stock and cream in a saucepan over medium heat.
3.  Slice the unpeeled potato into 1/4 inch slices, then quarter the slices.  Add them and the sausage to the soup.
4.  Add the kale
5.  Add the spices and let the soup simmer, covered but not tightly, I leave the lid a tad off to the side, for about an hour.  Stir occasionally.  

Serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as an entree