I had a request from a friend several weeks ago that, the next time she come over for dinner, I'd make her some Tuscana Soup inspired from the Olive Garden. Having never had it myself, I didn't have too much to work from, but I was able to easily find out what goes into it by surfing a bit online.
After whipping it together, my friend was shocked - she said I'd have no need to go to the Olive Garden to try it, since I perfected it in one go. It's a mildly spicy dish, with lots of flavor in every slurpy bite. It probably took about an hour total to throw it all together, including another pizza we made to go with the soup (see last post).
Very simple overall, pretty damn cheap, and definitely going to be something I make again in the near future.
1/4 large white onion, diced
2 slices prosciutto, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
3 t. chicken bullion powder
1 quart, water
5 small red potatoes, cubed (1 cm)
1 c. mixed small greens (Trader Joe's package)
3 spicy Italian sausage links (about 1 1/2 c. total)
2/3 c. heavy cream
Heat sausage over medium heat until cooked all the way through. In the meantime, place onions and prosciutto with a bit of olive oil (about 1T) in a 4-quart or larger pot, cook over medium-high heat until onions are nearly translucent. Add garlic and heat for another minute before pouring in the water and adding the boullion powder. Add the potatoes, then simmer for 15 minutes. Chop the greens up into medium pieces (approximately 1 cm) and cut sausage links along a bias for presentation (or, if you prefer, you could ground them up so they're more homogenous in the soup). Throw the greens and sausage into the soup, along with the cream, and simmer for 5 minutes before serving.
Makes 5 bowl-fulls, but that was only enough for 2 of us because it was so delicious! We barely even bothered with the pizza, and all the attention was on the wonderful soup. It could have used more greens, and I'd probably add another cup-full in there next time, but aside from that I wouldn't change a thing about this.