Tuesday, March 22, 2011

So I did... Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden), Salad, & Leftovers

I made that soup. I found the recipe yesterday and got the stuff today. And it was good. Really good. Really really good. The only problem is that we had no bread to sop up the drops at the bottom of the bowls. You know, those Olive Garden breadsticks. Those ones. Alas.  I added salad and leftovers of this.

Ingredients & Prices

Zuppa Toscana

1 lb. Italian Sausage - $1.80
4 Small-Medium Russet Potatoes Sliced in half, then sliced 1/4 inch or smaller - $0.31
2 small yellow onions, chopped - $0.10
3 Slices Bacon, crisply cooked and broken up - $0.58
2 tsp garlic - $0.12
2 Cups chopped Kale - $0.31
32 ounces Chicken Broth - $1.69
1 qt Water
1/2 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream - $1.98
1/2 tsp fennel seeds - $0.03

Total Cost of Soup - $6.92

Bag - $2.50
1/2 Cucumber - $0.44


The recipe I made was based on this, but I did quite a few things differently, so I will give you my instructions. First of all, I did bake the sausage links as the instructions said, but next time I will likely pre-slice and sauté them instead. It was easy to just stick 'em in there, though. I guess it depends on how my day is going next time. If you do cook the sausage in the oven, it's at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.

Go ahead and cook your bacon, now, too. You'll notice that the copy cat recipe used bacon bits. !?!?! What? Why? No. Don't do that.  Anyhow, cook it and let it cool on some paper towels.  

Chop up all your veggies and all. 

Then put the broth (I ask for more than the recipe does) and water (I threw in about a quart, but I was generous, since I was so generous with the broth) in the pot. 
Go ahead, laugh at my monstrously-sized stock pot. At the store, it seemed small. (ha!) 

Dump on in the onions, potatoes, and garlic, now, too. Cook on medium-high until the potatoes are cooked through but not too soft, just enough to stick your fork through and feel a tiny bit of fight from the potatoes.

This takes much longer than you'd expect. In that time, you can  break up your bacon and slice your sausages. 

Then, add in the sausage, bacon, and however much salt and pepper you like. I threw in about a tsp salt and I dunno, a half a tsp of pepper.
Simmer on medium for about 10 minutes.
Toss in the kale and cream and cook covered on low for another 5-10 minutes. 

Now you can put together your salad and reheat some pasta leftovers. 

With soup this good, nobody minds some leftovers. 

I didn't end up eating any leftovers. I had 2 bowls of soup and 2 bowls of salad and I was good to go. 

Total Cost of Soup and Salad for 2 Adults, 1 Child, with a Lot of Leftovers (probably another quart - I think we ate half of it and leftover salad for 1) - $9.86 - it woulda been cheaper if I'd just used the lettuce I had.

Now, I've got a ton of leftover kale. Any ideas?

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