Sunday, January 11, 2015

Zuppa Toscana - Olive Garden Copycat Recipe

I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and some time off!  Yes, I know it has been a few weeks since I last posted.  I decided to take a few weeks off from blogging to enjoy spending time with family and friends, and we even  managed to sneak in a quick vacation.  Now it's back to reality and Soup Sundays!

The Hubby and I had a craving for Olive Garden this weekend, but decided our wallets would appreciate a break.  So, we brought Olive Garden to us!  Tonight's recipe is a copycat of Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana and of course our meal wouldn't be complete without warm, buttery, homemade breadsticks.  Check out our recipes for both below.  Enjoy!

Zuppa Toscana Soup

Zuppa Toscana

1 pound Italian sausage
4 slices thick cut bacon
3 large russet potatoes
1 large onion
3 cups chopped kale
3 garlic cloves
8 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
2 cups half and half
ground white pepper

Begin by browning and draining the Italian sausage and set aside for later. While the sausage is cooking, peel and chop the onion. Start to fry the bacon in the same pan used to fry the sausage. Once it is a few minutes from done, add the onion and minced garlic and continue to cook until the onion becomes soft. Separate the bacon and remove excess grease. Drain the grease from the onion and set aside for later. Chop the bacon into half inch pieces. Peel the potatoes and chop them into half inch cubes. In a large pot bring the water, chicken stock, and potatoes to a boil for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and add sausage, bacon, onion, half and half, and white pepper to taste. Heat the soup through - the longer, the better. 15 minutes before serving, add the kale.

Garlic Breadsticks

3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup water
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Add yeast and 1 tsp of the total 2 tbsp of sugar to a cup of warm water, mix and let sit for 10 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups flour, vegetable oil, remaining sugar, salt, and the water-yeast mixture to a mixer bowl. Mix at low speed until everything has come together and then add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour. Continue mixing until you've got a solid ball of dough. Grease a large bowl and place the dough in it, covered, in a warm area to rise for an hour. Split dough into 12 pieces and roll/stretch them into nine inch sticks. Grease a baking sheet, place the sticks on it, cover, and allow to rise for another hour. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. While baking, melt butter and mix in salt and garlic powder. Once out of the oven, spread the butter mixture over the breadsticks.

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