I'm a sucker for a good soup, even more so when it's Copycat versions! Take this Toscana Soup version from the OG. It's my hubby's favorite, no joke and making it at home is simple. Not to mention, less expensive. And the bonus part of doing so: LEFTOVERS!
Is it the creaminess or the fact that it has potatoes that makes this a winner? Hmmm, I venture to say it's both! And actually, 4 large potatoes isn't really all that much, at least not in my book. Take it from a total potato lover, it's REALLY NOT! And don't let the seemingly long list of ingredients deter you from making this. When broken down, it's not that much that's required. And if you're anything like me, most of these ingredients are already in your pantry.
Prepping Toscana Soup
I've always been a fan of prepping and measuring out all the ingredients before starting the actual cooking process. My thinking is that it all seems to go smoother and faster if you have everything ready to go.
One of the first things I do first is to prep the kale. For this, fill the sink with cold water. Then I tear the kale leaves off, in bite sized portions. Toss the kale into the water and move it around occasionally to help loosen and remove any remaining dirt. Let them sit and soak until needed.
Next, fill stock pot with water and season with salt and pepper. Toss the bouillon cubes in, then cover and let it sit on the stove for a while. You could also add the bay leaf now. The next things I do is measure out the spices into one little dish and the garlic into another. Then I move over to chopping the potatoes and onion.
For the potatoes, I leave it up to your discretion whether to keep the skin on or remove it. Personally, I'm a fan of potato skins, so I left them on. If you decide to keep it on, be sure to give them a good scrub to get whatever dirt is stuck on them off. Nobody likes to bite into a chunk of dirt…well I know I don't! When the potatoes are cubed, rinse them out and add to the pot of water.
The last part of the prep work is the sausage and bacon. The bacon is already fully cooked, so just chop it up into bite sized pieces and set aside. Using a paring knife, cut a slit along the length of each link and then pull the casing away and dispose.
Cooking The Soup
Once everything is chopped and measured out, it's time to get cooking. Turn the stove up to a medium, medium high heat and get those tater's cooking. In a large skillet, crumble and brown the sausage with the olive oil. Stir occasionally and once it's about done, use a slotted spoon to scoop and remove it over to a plate. Add onion to remaining oil in skillet and saute until translucent.
Add the sausage back to the onions along with the garlic and spices and stir to combine. Cook for approximately 5 minutes. Turn heat off and using the slotted spoon, scoop this sausage mixture up and add it to the potatoes. Give them a good stir and continue to simmer.
In case you're wondering about the pan I'm using for cooking my onions and sausage, it's this one right here below. We absolutely love it for a couple of reasons. For one thing, it's big … a whopping 5.5 quart and it comes with a removable steamer insert, which is AWESOME! We've had it already for over a month and we have decided to get another one. It can also be placed in an oven up to 350 degrees (F), so YAY. Plus, it's dishwasher safe and you can find this beauty at a local Sam's Club or at the Sam's Club website and have it shipped free to you if you're a Plus Member. Get it in either this grey or choose from a nice variety of available colors online.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the cornstarch slurry and set aside. Be sure to use COLD WATER for the slurry. Now's a good time to strain the kale and give it a final rinse. Set it aside.
When potatoes are almost done, add the bacon, kale and heavy cream. If you would rather not use heavy cream, feel free to replace it with half and half in the same measured amount. Bring back to a boil, then slowly drizzle in the cornstarch slurry while stirring. Cook an additional two minutes and it's done!
And that's really it. Serve while it's warm and add a few shavings or sprinkles of Parmesan Romano Cheese or a few croutons or a side of crusty garlic bread. These Garlic Butter Crisps would be a great addition to this delicious soup dish. And if you love copycat recipes, this Pasta Fagioli Soup is another delicious soup that can be made at home.
Toscana Soup is one of my family's favorite soups to load up on when we visit the OG. This version of the classic restaurant soup is not only easy to make at home, it is also 100x better!
- 12 cups Water
- 4 cubes Chicken Bouillon
- 1 bushel Kale (torn & washed)
- 4 large Potatoes (washed & cubed)
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil (extra virgin)
- 1/2 medium Onion (diced)
- 1 tbsp Garlic (minced)
- 19 oz Mild Sausage (casing removed)
- 2.1 oz pkg Fully Cooked Bacon Slices (rough chopped)
- 3/4 tsp Paprika
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Thyme (dried)
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 cups Heavy Cream or Half & Half (16 oz container)
- Corn Starch Slurry
- Remove stems from kale and tear apart into small pieces, then soak in a sink full of cold water, moving around occasionally to remove any remaining dirt.
- In a large stock pot, add water, salt, black pepper, bay leaf and bouillon cubes in stock pot on stove. Let it sit for a little while.
- Measure out paprika, cayenne pepper & thyme together, set aside. Chop onion & bacon and set aside. Wash and cube potatoes into bite sized pieces and add to pot of water. Remove casings from sausage and discard them (the casings, not the sausage:)
- Begin heating pot of water & potatoes on medium heat. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Crumble and cook sausage until just browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage and transfer to a plate, leaving oil in pan.
- In the saute pan, add onion and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, spices and the cooked sausage back to the pan. Continue cooking an additional 3-5 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, carefully scoop out the mixture and add to the potatoes. Allow to simmer (uncovered) over medium heat. Make the cornstarch slurry using COLD water and set aside.
- When the potatoes are almost ready, add the bacon, kale and cream. Bring back to a boil and then slowly drizzle in the corn starch slurry while stirring. Simmer 2 more minutes and remove from heat. Serve warm. Enjoy
Cori - xoxo