What’s For Dinner?
Copycat Olive Garden Toscana Soup
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
From the menu of . . . Olive Garden
Q: The Olive Garden serves a soup that I just love. I know it has sausage in it and some kind of greens. Is it possible to get the recipe?
- Cindy Moore, Alpharetta
A: Not surprisingly, Olive Garden keeps its recipes pretty much under wraps. The soup you so love is Olive Garden Toscana Soup, which it describes on the menu as "Spicy sausage, russet potatoes and cavolo greens in a light, creamy broth." We found dozens of copycat recipes for this soup. In fact, at the Soar recipe archive, soar.berkeley.edu/recipes/copycat/olive-garden/indexall.htm, there is a section of more than 100 Olive Garden recipes, from fettuccine Alfredo to tiramisu. There were five for the Toscana Soup, all similar. We chose to test this one, published by The Detroit News a few years ago.
Hands on time: 15 minutes Total time: 1 hour and 5 minutes Serves: 4 (6 cups)
1/2 pound Italian sausage links
3/4 cup diced onion
1 slice bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 1/4 teaspoons minced garlic
4 cups nonfat, low-sodium chicken broth
2 baking potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 cups kale or other greens, thinly sliced
1/3 cup whipping cream
Salt to taste
In 3- to 4-quart saucepan, combine the onions and bacon and cook over medium heat until onions are almost transparent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add chicken broth and potatoes and bring to boil.
Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Add sausages, greens, cream and salt to taste. Simmer 5 minutes longer.