Tuscan soup at Olive Garden

36
10
Joined Sep 6, 2006
I really enjoy this soup, and I would like to try making it at home. While eating some last night, I was trying to determine the ingredients. My best guess at this point is:

Chopped onions
Crumbled Italian sausage
Sliced potatoes
Chicken stock/broth
Cream
Parsley

I suppose I would brown the sausage first, then add the onions to soften. The add the stock and simmer for, say 30 minutes, then toss in the potatoes and continue cooking until tender. Finish with the cream and parsley.

Does this sound right? If anyone is familiar with this soup, I'd appreciate your thoughts before I give it a go.
 

phatch

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You can find a good clone of it in one of the various Top Secret Recipe books.

This is the recipe Todd Wilbur, the author came up with.

2 3/4Cchicken stock
1/4Cheavy cream
1medium potato
2Ckale, chopped
1/2poundspicy italian sausage
1/4teapoon salt
1/4teaspoon red pepper flakes

Grill or saute the sausage. When cooked and cooled, cut the sausage at an angle into slices about 1/2 inch thick.

Meanwhile, combine the stock and cream in a saucepan over medium heat.

Add the sausage to the soup. Slice the unpeeled potato into 1/4 inch slices then quarter the slices and add to the soup. Add the kale.

Add the spices and let the soup simmer for about 2 hours. Stir occasionally.
 
36
10
Joined Sep 6, 2006
Ahh, so it was kale instead of parsley. That sounds right. But in the soup I had last night the sausage was definitely crumbled instead of sliced, and there was some onion in there too.

I think I'll go with a combination approach and make it with the onion and the kale. And simmer it a lot longer than I was planning. Thanks for the info!
 

phatch

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Yes, they use a bulk sausage for the soup, but most people buy their italian saustge in a casing. It's easy to remove, but his recipes are super simple.

Phil
 

phatch

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I think that was a typo in my recipe. 2 hours will dissolve the potatoes. 1 hour should be plenty. I'll have to go see if I can find my copy of the book and verify.

Phil
 
36
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Joined Sep 6, 2006
I made the soup last night and it was delicious. I ate two big bowls, yum. Here's what I did, it was a little different from Wilbur's version:
1 medium yellow onion chopped
1/2 pound spicy Italian sausage (2 links), removed from casings
3 1/2 cups chicken broth (2 regular sized cans, I haven't worked up to making my own stock yet)
1/4 cup half and half
1 large potato, quartered lengthwise and sliced
1 large fistful of kale, I suppose it was close to 2 cups

First I broke up the sausage and browned it in the pot, then removed and put on paper towels to drain of some of the fat.

I added about 1 tbs of olive oil to the pot and put in the onions, cooking until slightly golden.

While doing this, I was heating the broth and cream in a seperate pan. When the onions were finished, I added the sausage and poured in a bit of the broth to deglaze the bottom of the pot. After scraping the pot clean with a spoon, I added the rest of the liquid, the potatoes, and the kale, as well as some Kosher salt.

I simmered for about 50 minutes, ladeled into bowls, and garnished with a bit of the leftover chopped kale.

What I learned:
- I think the half & half was a little old, because it turned into little tiny chunks in the broth. I notice the same thing happens in my coffee when it has been in the fridge for too long. It tasted fine, but next time I will make sure it is as fresh as possible, and will probably not add it until a few minutes before serving.
- 30-35 minutes simmer would probably be ideal. The thinly sliced potatoes were a little too soft for my taste after 50 minutes.
- The red pepper flakes were not necessary, as the sausage added quite a bit of heat already. I live in the southwest, and many foods here are liberally spiced, if you live up north you may need to add the flakes.
- This was the first time I have cooked with kale. I'm happy that I became familiar with this ingredient. Raw it tastes quite a bit like broccoli, and has a firm leaf. It stood up quite well to the long simmering, almost like cabbage.
 
992
13
Joined Sep 8, 2003
I also love that soup, but would prefer the broth to be a little thicker. I might either make a roux near the beginning of the recipe or make a slurry with the cream and add it at the end. Either way, I'm definately making this soup!
 
25
10
Joined Sep 19, 2006
love this soup here's my personal recipe

1/2 onion
1 cup kale
2lb yukon potatos/ any white or red potatos or both
1 3/4 cup chickn broth
1 cup water
2 garlic cloves
3/4 cup heavy whiping cream
6 slices bacon
1 lb spicy sausage

boil water add onions/garlic til onions tender add chick broth and potatos, cook 25-30 min til potatoes are soft, while potatoes are cooking fry up bacon and sausage, when sausage done rinse several time to get rid of the red color, then slice bacon after cool, add sausage, bacon, Kale, heavy cream bring to boil for couple minutes to cook kale reduce to simmer couple minutes, add salt pepper to taste and let cool 5 min usually like 4-6 servings, wonderfull hearty soup.

I dont even order it at the olive garden anymore, my soup is much more robust. All the girls out there love this soup great for dinner along with some french bread for dipping. ENJOY
 
15
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Joined Oct 9, 2006
I'm an ex-Olive Garden employee, and the first recipe displayed was just about spot on. The only thing to note is that the potatoes are Yukons. They have a higher starch content and stand up to the long simmering time. Else, everything here is correct.

I'm also willing to share any other OG recipes, with the exception of the Alfredo sauce. :) I'm kind of partial to keeping that one a secret, and it should be easy enough to make your own.
 
81
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Joined Feb 13, 2006
gXtXa-Wow, I've been looking for you all my life! My dear departed Mother adored the Minestrone from OG...We even brought it to celebrate her life after the funeral..Yikes! In any case, would you share the recipe?My sibs would love to remember her with her favorite food.
 
992
13
Joined Sep 8, 2003
Well, if you're in the mood to share.... I'd love to know what the salad dressing is.

I made the Tuscan Potato in miy shop and everyone loved it. I did thicken it up a little, but it was gooood!
 
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