I love Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana soup and this is my take on it. I'm not sure all they use, but I used what I like and I am happy with the result. It is a pretty easy soup that doesn't have too many ingredients involved, and if I can make it, you sure can. Take a look and if there are veggies you like, try adding them in!
Step 1: Ingredients
This is a pretty basic soup. Prep time is around 10 minutes and cook time is 20 minutes. It serves about 6 people. FYI: We didn't eat it all and stored the leftovers in the fridge and the next day the chicken broth fat looked pretty gross floating on the top of the soup, but it reheated just fine. Just beware if you have leftovers, they won't look pretty.Ingredients:
Potatoes - 8 red potatoes
Carrots - 5
Chicken Broth - 49 1/2 oz
Italian Sausage - 12 oz
Half and Half - 1/2 cup
Crushed Red Pepper (not shown)
Step 2: Prepare Veggies
Time to prep your veggies. I chose to cut my potatoes in a half and then cut them in thin pieces. You don't want them too big because it will take them too long to cook through and they will be too big to eat. (Think of it as one or two potato pieces per spoonful when you eat.)
For the carrots, I first cleaned and pealed them. Then I held them by one end and shaved off pieces from about the center to the end and put them in a bowl. I stopped shaving when I got to the hard center of the carrot. I used five carrots, but they were five pathetic carrots so you may not even need that many, depending on how many carrots you want in your soup.
Step 3: Cook Meat
Put a little vegetable oil into your dutch oven and start heating it up on the stove. Add in your ground italian sausage and cook. I added in crushed red pepper flakes when it was just about done, but you can add it earlier on if you want. I just did a few shakes. You can add as much as you want depending on your amount of meat.
After it is cooked, take it out and put it in a bowl off to the side.
Step 4: Cook
Put your dutch oven back on the heat and pour in your chicken broth. You are going to heat that on high until it boils.
Once boiling, add everything in. (Meat, Potatoes, Carrots) (Becarefull not to splash yourself with the boiling broth, I did and it hurt a lot.) Mix it up and make sure everything is covered by the broth. Turn it down to simmer and cover. Let it sit on the stove and cook for 20 minutes.
Step 5: Add Half and Half and Enjoy
After 20 minutes, check to make sure the potatoes are cooked. If they aren't, let it cook a few more minutes.
Once it is all cooked, turn the burner on low and take half a cup of half and half and stir it in. You don't need to leave it cooking for much longer. You just want to make sure the soup is still hot after adding in the cold half and half.