My husband has enjoyed zuppa toscana at Olive Garden for years, so we decided to make this kinds of at home.  Since I am a vegetarian (and had never actually had the soup before!), we made some substitutions.  We subbed in vegetarian sausages, which every meat-lover agrees is delicious!  This soup is always a hit and we enjoy the leftovers too.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 6 cups vegetarian broth (we like Better than Bullion) (non-vegetarian version can use other broth if desired)
  • 1 package vegetarian Italian sausage (see my photo below), sliced (non-vegetarian version: real sausage)
  • 4 large russet potatoes, diced into 1/2 inch pieces (up to you if you want to peel the potatoes or not – I like to keep the skin on)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 bunch kale (a couple of handfuls) de-stemmed and torn or chopped into bite sized pieces (although sometimes I use the entire whole bunch)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes to taste (we like to go heavy on the red pepper)

* Note – you could probably make this vegan by leaving out the heavy cream, or using a vegan substitute.

Directions:

I like to start by soaking the kale and potatoes (I keep the skins on the potatoes, but it is up to you).  This way I don’t end up with sandy soup!

Saute your onions and sausages (separately), adding in the garlic to the onions as the onions are almost done (so the garlic doesn’t burn).

This is one of our favorite vegetarian sausages from Trader Joe’s:

Prepare your broth.  We love Better Than Boullion (as you can tell from the empty jar!).

Start cooking the diced potatoes in your broth.  I try to make sure the potatoes don’t get overcooked and crumbly.

When the potatoes are just about done (again, I like them on the firmer side), add in the onions, garlic, sausages, and kale, and cook for a few more minutes.