Foodie Friday…Olive-Garden Inspired Soup…YUM!!!

I love soup.  Soup, Soup, Soup.  Especially in the Fall when the weather starts to cool off.  I’m also a big fan of the Olive Garden all you can eat soup, salad, and breadsticks menu.  My friend shared this recipe with me that she found on-line and I swear it tastes exactly like the Zuppa Toscana at Olive Garden.  The original webpage is here.  It is so yummy and hubs and I made some modifications to spice it up a bit.  I’ll paste the original recipe with my few modifications in parenthesis if you want the hotter (as in spicy) version.  Enjoy!

Olive Garden® Zuppa Toscana

This is a much requested recipe on the site given its name! Someone who used to work at the Olive Garden sent in the original recipe and I’ve adapted it to serve just 6-8. Try it since it is really yummy!

It is a very good soup and hits the spot on cold winter days. I’ve included this and a few other Olive Garden-inspired recipes on the site for all of our visitors that enjoy eating at the restaurant chain. In my opinion, making these recipes at home makes them even better than the ones you eat at the restaurant! 🙂

Makes: 6-8 servings


  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage  (we used the hot and spicy version)
  • 1½ tsp crushed red peppers (we replaced with a like amount of cayenne pepper)
  • 1 large diced white onion
  • 4 Tbsp bacon pieces
  • 2 tsp garlic puree
  • 10 cups water
  • 5 cubes of chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes (thinly sliced with the skins left on)
  • ¼ of a bunch of kale

kale and potatoes

  1. Sauté Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot. Drain excess fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.
  2. In the same pan, sauté bacon, onions and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 mins. or until the onions are soft.
  3. Add chicken bouillon and water to the pot and heat until it starts to boil.
  4. Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
  5. Add the heavy cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.add cream
  6. Stir in the sausage and the kale, let all heat through and serve. Delicious!

Buon appetito!

finished soup

So good!  The addition of the cayenne pepper is what gives my version the orange hue by the way : )



Foodie Friday…Easy, Yummy Chili!!!

T.G.I.F everyone!

So, I love to cook, bake, etc…and spend time in the kitchen making yummy things for my family. That said, if I find an easy way to make something I’m not above it 🙂 Today’s recipe is a classic “open and dump,” meaning most of the ingredients come from cans. But, I promise it is so yummy! Not to mention convenient, low-cost, and easy to keep the ingredients on hand if you end up needing a fast meal. Those are always good, I’ve got 9 family members staying with me for the Labor Day weekend and crowd-pleasing meals that are inexpensive and easy are a must 🙂


-one small, diced onion (I used red)

-can chili magic, medium heat

-can diced tomatoes (chili style)

-one lb. ground turkey (ground chicken or beef would be great too)

-desired toppings (crackers, cheese, sour cream, etc…)

chili directions


So I started with some ground turkey and browned it in a pan (1 lb. for my family of four and we ate almost all of it). When it was halfway done, I added some diced onion and salt and pepper. Drain off any fat, and add the chili magic and tomatoes.

brown turkey

chili magicchili tomatoes


Then, just cover and simmer for 7-10 minutes. Seriously, that’s it! So yummy with cornbread on a fall evening! Have an awesome weekend everyone!

bowl chili