Soup is like restaurant's



May 05, 2004|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,SUN STAFF

Thao Tran of Brea, Calif. wrote: "I am seeking a recipe for a soup which is offered at the Olive Garden chain of restaurants. It is called Zuppa Toscana and is a creamy white soup with potatoes and other ingredients. I've looked everywhere for it with no success.

"I even tried to bribe a restaurant employee. Would greatly appreciate help."

Sue Sharp of Petaluma, Calif., responded with a recipe. "I found it in the Ladies' Home Journal in November 1997, and I've copied it for you. I hope that this works out for Thao. I've never tried it - always waiting not to be on a diet to make it!"

Toscana Soup

Makes 4 servings

3 links Italian sausage

3/4 cup chopped onion

1 slice bacon, diced

1 1/4 teaspoons minced garlic

1 can chicken broth

2 cups water

2 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced

2 cups thinly sliced fresh kale

1/3 cup heavy or whipping cream

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bake sausage on jellyroll pan, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain on paper towels; cool. Cut into 1/4 -inch-thick slices. Cook chopped onion and bacon in saucepan over medium heat, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute.

Add chicken broth, water and potatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer 25 minutes until potatoes are tender. Stir in kale, cream and reserved sausage. Cook 5 minutes.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "This does indeed resemble the soup at Olive Garden! Depending on whether you use spicy or sweet Italian sausage [either works fine], the soup has a hearty and just slightly spicy zest to it.

"If you have trouble finding kale, escarole would work fine, and a couple of chopped carrots add a nice color contrast. The addition of cream at the end lends a richness that makes this dish an easy one-pot meal with a loaf of crusty bread."

Per serving: 341 calories; 15 grams protein; 20 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 26 grams carbohydrate; 3 grams fiber; 63 milligrams cholesterol; 782 milligrams sodium

Recipe requests

Pat Baker of Brentwood, Tenn., wants a recipe for Hutzler's rice pudding. "I grew up in Baltimore and I used to go to the Tea Room at Hutzler's and would always get their rice pudding for dessert. I've tried to find the recipe. Can you please help me?"

Sharyne Childers of San Luis Obispo, Calif., wants a recipe for pickling cantaloupe. "Chunks of melon are soaked in water that has alum in it for several days and then canned. It was delicious, not soft or mushy. I have misplaced the recipe. Can you help?"

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. If you send more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Names must accompany recipes for them to be published. Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

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