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Italian Potato Soup

Updated on October 10, 2017
hysongdesigns profile image

Mary Hysong was born and raised in Miami, Arizona. She has been drawing and painting for as long as she can remember.

TASTE'S LIKE OLIVE GARDENS'S ZUPPA TOSCANA!

When ever I go to eat at the Olive Garden Restaurant I always order the soup and salad special. The soup I always order because I love it so much is the Zuppa Toscana, an Italian potato soup. One day I decided to see if I could recreate this soup at home. I think my version tastes just like Olive Garden's soup, try it and see what you think.

This soup is very easy to make and takes less than an hour from start to finish. With only 5 ingredients plus water it's easy on your pocket book too.

Cook Time

Prep Time: about 15-20 minutes

Total Time: about 45 minutes

Serves: 6-8 depending on whether it's a 1st course in a meal or the main dish

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Italian sausage, I use the ground, loose sausage, not the links
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 -5 pounds of new red skinned potatoes sliced thin
  • 1 twelve ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 small bunch of kale, sliced into thin ribbons

Instructions

  1. Brown the sausage in the soup pot, add chopped onion and stir together. Turn heat down and put lid on pot and let cook until onions are soft, stirring occasionally.
  2. While the sausage and onion are cooking, thinly slice the potatoes (no need to peel new potatoes, they have a very thin skin). When the onions are soft, add the potatoes and stir. Add about 6 cups or 1 1/2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for about 20-30 minutes (until potatoes are soft enough to break up when stirring)
  3. Stir in the can of milk. Slice the kale leaves thinly (skip the stems, they are tough). Add the kale and stir together. Dish it up!
  4. Serving suggestions, sprinkle with grated Parmesan, Romano or Peccorino cheese, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with crusty bread and a big green salad.
Cast your vote for Italian Potato Soup

You Need Heavy Bottom Stockpot!

While a heavy bottomed stock pot is not absolutely essential to making my Italian Potato Soup they are a joy to cook in. Having an extra thick bottom means the heat is distributed more evenly and it is less likely to scorch the contents. This one is similar to the one I use for making soup which I've owned about 25 years now!

Stainless steel is the way to go for all of your pots and pans. Stainless does not react with the acid in food like other metals, it does not give off poisonous gases like teflon and other coatings do, even if you scorch it. In fact even if you burn food onto it, you can clean it up good as new with a little elbow grease. And you don't have to worry about scratching a special coating. In my opinion stainless steel (and cast iron) are the only things to cook in!

Brown the sausage
Brown the sausage

How to Make my Italian Potato Soup

Step by Step

This is a really easy soup to make as you will see from the photos. Great for beginner cooks.

First, brown the sausage in the soup pot.

While the sausage is beginning to brown, chop up a big onion.

Add the onion to the sausage and stir together. Lower the heat and put the lid on the pot. Cook until the onion is soft.

While you are waiting for the onion to get cooked, slice the potatoes. You want about 1/8 inch thick slices, but don't stress if they are thicker, they will just take a little longer to cook. If you grow your own potatoes and have really tiny ones that won't keep long, you could just toss them in whole or cut in half. Don't worry though if your potatoes are big and make big slices. When they are cooked they will break into smaller pieces, so don't worry about making them bite sized now.

The onions and sausage are cooked
The onions and sausage are cooked

The onions and sausage are cooked; most of the onions are soft and a few are beginning to go transparent.

Now add the sliced potatoes. I used about three pounds for this batch. You can use up to 5 pounds (if you have a bigger pot) for this amount of sausage. (This is my 6 quart stock pot)

I added about 1 1/2 quarts of water, which would be 6 cups. If you used more potatoes you would want a little more water. The trick is don't use too much water, with the potatoes in thin slices they are going to cook quickly and the new potatoes do not absorb as much water as regular potatoes do.

Turn the heat up and put the lid on the pot. Bring the soup up to a boil, then turn it down to a slow simmer. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the potatoes break up easily from pressure of the stirring spoon, they are done. Keep the heat on low and pour in the can of milk. If you don't have any canned milk you could use fresh (about 1 1/2 cups). I am just used to using canned milk in a lot of my cooking instead of fresh milk.

When the potatoes are done, slice the bunch of kale into thin ribbons. I do this by sort of rolling the bunch firmly together and being slicing through the whole bundle from the tips of the leaves towards the stems. When I get to the thick part of the stems I quit. I just want the leaves in the soup because the stems are thick and can be a bit tough.

Add the kale and stir it in. It will only take a minute or so for the kale leaves to be cooked and turn a bright green. Turn off the heat and serve.

soup is ready to eat
soup is ready to eat

Soups On!

Yummy, your own bowl of Italian Potato Soup! Serve it up with a sprinkle of Parmesan, Peccorino or other hard dry Italian cheese on top with salt and pepper to taste. With a big green salad and some crusty bread this makes a great meal. Buon appetito! (Enjoy your meal!)

Which is Better? Metal or Teflon?

Well I think you can see from my previous comments that I am strictly a cast iron and stainless steel kind of gal; but what do you like to cook in?

What do you like better?

I make a lot of soup in the winter of all kinds; how about you?

Do you like soup?

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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 months ago from Home Sweet Home

      bookmark this hub page, very detail and easy to follow

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm definitely bookmarking this page, because this Italian Potato Soup sounds so delicious!

    • BlueTrane profile image

      BlueTrane 6 years ago

      We eat a lot of soup. Great way to use those turkey, chicken and ham carcasses and leftovers. Check out my smoked-root-vegetable-soup-recipe lens! My wife loves the Zuppa Toscana at Olive Garden, so I will certainly be trying this recipe.

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 6 years ago from UK

      I love soup. I make a lot of my own soups and have written a couple of lenses on some of the better ones. I usually make up my own recipes and use up ingredients that are available in the kitchen. Note I am not a cook but I can sure make a good soup. Thanks for this lens, it may well widen the scope of my soup-making activities.

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 6 years ago

      I try to; I've been on a Farro kick as of late; I'll have to try your recipe, my mom never made that dish. She should have my dad was half Irish & half Italian; she would have touched on the best of both Worlds. Lol

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      I can almost smell it cooking, this Italian potato soup looks so good!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      love soup, going to have a soup bread bowl somewhere today for lunch, its what I'm feeling like at the moment, cold outside too. enjoyed my visit on this lens of yours, thank you.

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 6 years ago

      I love soups. They are usually easy to prepare and they are great for the winter.

    • Violin-Student profile image

      Violin-Student 6 years ago

      Split pea RULES! Minnestrone and Manhattan Clam Chowder ROCK! And a good Chicken Tortilla Soup is right near the top of the list. I'd better leave before I fill the page.

      --Art Haule

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      Sounds absolutely delicious - if I didn't have so much in the way of leftovers, I may just hop in the kitchen and start this now!

    • WayneDave LM profile image

      WayneDave LM 6 years ago

      Sounds lovely! I love a good soup so this sounds very appealing to me. Thanks for sharing!

    • hysongdesigns profile image
      Author

      hysongdesigns 6 years ago

      @choosehappy: Thank you~ Much appreciated!

    • elyria profile image

      elyria 6 years ago

      I love anything with potatoes, sounds so delicious.

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 6 years ago from US

      Sounds yummy; blessed ;)

    • efriedman profile image

      efriedman 6 years ago

      P.S. I will feature this lens on my Blueberries and Red Soup lens (or should it go with Five Photos: Visual Thinking current project "Framed in Venice" in honor of Italy? I know, why not both? :-)

    • efriedman profile image

      efriedman 6 years ago

      I love this soup at Olive Garden and your recipe, photos and explanation look great. Well done!

    • hysongdesigns profile image
      Author

      hysongdesigns 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you so much, I really appreciate your blessing and you support!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Ok, I'd love to have a bowl of you Potato Soup right now, looks yummy. Blessed.