Friday, September 26, 2008

Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan Soup)

I received a delightful email from a friend the other day with an attached 478-page recipe book full of restaurant recipes - anything from A&W's Onion Rings to York Peppermint Patties and everything in-between. I quickly scrolled to the O section.

Olive Garden.

Zuppa Toscana.

Been dying to try it for well over a year now.

Finally, I put the obscure ingredients (not really - just the kale) on a grocery list and sent Armando for the goods.

It turned out DELICIOUS! I would highly recommend this recipe.


3/4 cup onions, diced 1/8 inch
1 slice bacon, 1/4-inch diced
1 1/4 tsp garlic cloves, minced
1 ounce chicken boullion
1 quart water
2 medium potatoes, cut in half length-wise then cut in 1/4 inch slices (do not peel)
2 cups cavallo greens (kale can be substituted), cut in half, then sliced into 1/16-inch strips
1 1/2 cups sausage link - spicy, pre-cooked, cut in half-length-wise, then cut at an angle into 1/2-inch slices
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Place sausage link onto sheet pan and bak in 300 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until done.

Place onions and bacon into 3 to 4 quart sauce pan and cook onions over medium heat until onions are almost clear. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add chicken bouillon, water and potatoes, bring to a simmer for 15 minutes. Add remaining ingredients then simmer for 5 more minutes and serve.

Recipe courtesy Insider's Recipes Master Edition.

**These are just some changes I made or would make to the recipe next time.
  • I substituted the sausage link (yuck) for ground sausage. This time I used regular. Armando claimed it lacked any kick. I now have a pound of frozen HOT ground sausage in the freezer waiting for the next time I try the recipe.
  • I used the kale. It worked perfect.
  • This recipe calls for heavy whipping cream. I don't think it needs it. Milk would suffice.
If you'd like a copy of this recipe book, just leave me a comment along with your email address and I'll send it to you.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Great Grandmother's Homemade Ice Cream


2 quarts milk

1 quart cream

4 eggs, beaten

2 2/3 C sugar

6 junket tablets* dissolved in cold water

2 tblsp vanilla (the real stuff is better)

Heat the first four ingredients to warm (like a baby’s milk). DO NOT OVERHEAT. Add vanilla and put in refrigerator to cool. Add junket tablets and set until the thickness of gravy. Put into ice cream freezer and freeze.

Up until this time, I had never made this ice cream without it being devoured within minutes. It froze up very well in the freezer and we enjoyed it for weeks afterwards. It's especially delicious with fresh fruit on top. If you serve it right when it has finished in the freezer, it melts almost immediately. Either way, it's delicious, but I prefer hard ice cream.

*Junket tablets are gelatin tablets made to thicken ice cream. All growing up we could find them at Smith's. I couldn't find them there. I found them at Albertson's. Some have said they found them at Wal-mart.