Photo courtesy of Tuscan Recipes
Olive Garden's recipe adapted by Lori Hopkin
1 (16 oz) package of mild or spicy sausage
6 slices of bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 qt water
2 T chicken bouillon
2 medium potatoes cut into 1/4 in slices
2 cups of kale
1/8 - 1/4 crushed red pepper (optional)
1/3 cup of heavy cream
1. In a large cooking pot cook sausage over medium high heat until done. Remove from pan. Drain fat.
2. In same cooking pot, fry bacon until crisp; remove, drain; drain on paper towels crumble and set aside. Drain all but 1-tablespoon bacon fat from pot.
3. Add onions to same cooking pot and cook over medium heat until softened. Add garlic and cooked for 1 minute. Add the water, chicken base and potatoes. Bring to boiling, reduce heat and simmer, co0vered, for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
4. Return the cooked sausage and crumbled bacon to the pot. Add the kale and crushed red pepper, if using, and simmer for 4 minutes. Stir in the cream and cook until heated through, without boiling. Serving hot.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
*An easier option would be to substitute with 1-pound bulk Italian sausage; crumble and cook until done; drain fat, set aside and continue with recipe as directed.
Jayne's Notes: I love this soup but as you can see from the ingredients it isn't for the dieting crowd. We used to have a Girls' Night recipe club and Lori shared this yummy favorite with us. It is in fact very similar to Olive Garden's Tuscana. When making this recipe I usually add another quart of broth to thin the soup. Also, kale is chewier than spinach so I try to cut it into smaller pieces for the kids' sake (but not too small because it holds it's shape and looks pretty somewhat larger leafed).