Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Zuppa Tuscana

Sometimes Olive Garden's soup, salad and breadsticks meal is just too good to pass up. 

I like that you can get bottomless soups and, theoretically, try all the flavors. 

I really like the Chicken and Gnocchi, the Pasta Fagioli and the Minestrone. 

I've wanted to like the Zuppa Tuscana soup but I am not a big fan of Italian sausage.

Then, I saw that Ree made this on The Pioneer Woman and remembered I had some ground turkey at home just sitting in the freezer. So, this is a little variation on Pioneer Woman's variation of the Olive Garden soup... but it turned out so good! It was really easy to make. It's a wonderful, creamy, flavorful soup. Plus with ground turkey instead of Italian sausage, you save a few calories!

As the temperature keeps dropping I believe this may be one of those soups that keeps cropping up to keep us warm and well fed. 

First, slice five or six red potatoes and boil them in water.

While that's going, mince some garlic.

The first time I minced garlic it was a frustrating struggle. Here's what I learned that made it go much faster: Push the heel of your palm down until the bulb splits. Place the blade of a knife flat across each clove and press down. This should make it simple to remove the skin and trim the ends. Then, toss them in a food processor or chop em up by hand.

Use 2-3 cloves, according to taste preferences

And chop up half an onion. I was cooking for a picky eater who doesn't like onion so I left the chunks big enough to pick out.

Chop up some fresh spinach (or kale- I couldn't find any at HEB but spinach worked just as well!)

Brown a pound of ground turkey with your clove of garlic and onion, and a little olive oil. Add in salt and ground black pepper to taste, as well as a generous sprinkling of crushed red pepper and oregano.

Once it's all browned, pour in two cans of chicken broth and about two cups of heavy cream. You can play around with your liquids to figure out if you'd like a lighter or creamier broth. If you really want to cut back on calories, use milk instead of cream and thicken your sauce with a little bit of flour.

Throw in your greens and let it simmer for about ten or fifteen minutes. Mash your potatoes with a fork a little bit to mix potato throughout the soup. Check for taste and add any last minute seasonings. 

Serve with garlic bread and tossed salad. 

Yum! Now I'm determined to duplicate their salad dressing. It's addictive!

Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

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