If you've been following me on Facebook (or reading my regurgitated FB updates here) than you know I've recently taken an interest in cooking. Right now I prepare dinner six nights out of seven. That's not as impressive as it might sound. After all, Lisa made dinner 365 days a year for much of our marriage.
Recently I made a big pot of Zuppa Toscana, a potato soup that's part of Olive Garden's menu. I found and followed a copycat recipe available here, but I did make some changes.
Here's the original ingredient list:
1 lb. Italian Sausage
2 large Russet potatoes, sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
1 large Onion, chopped
1/2 can Bacon Bits
2 cloves garlic minced
2 C. Kale or Swiss chard chopped
2 (14.5 ounce) cans Chicken Broth
1 qt. Water
1 C. Heavy Whipping Cream
The recipe called for the potatoes, broth, water and garlic to be placed on medium heat until the potatoes were cooked. At that point the meat would be added and the soup left to simmer ten minutes. Then the kale and whipping cream is added, and the soup is heated and served.
Ok. First off I cooked a batch big enough for my family, which meant doubling up the ingredients. I personalized it by using ground Italian sausage, 1/2# of which was a spicer variety. I substituted half and half for 2/3rds of the whipping cream, used low sodium broth for 1/3 the total, added fresh diced fennel, and added a bit more garlic than called for in the original recipe.
It was marvelous, but all hands agreed the soup was short on potato. Despite a broth friendly crowd, I had to boil additional potatoes and add them to the mix the next day.
Like I said, it was marvelous. It's definitely added to our family repertoire. Try it yourself.