Early on in my pregnancy (which is now thankfully over) I could eat about 2 things. Potatoes and hamburgers. Yes. All vegetables tasted like dirt. Bitter, nasty dirt. Chicken tasted like week old chicken that’s been sitting in fridge, even when it was freshly cooked. All other foods caused some level of gag reflex… Whether or not throwing up was involved didn’t matter, I couldn’t eat it. Couldn’t even GET most things down and many others refused to stay if I somehow tricked myself into swallowing them. Honestly, the more deep fried something was the easier it was to eat. Especially potatoes of course. And hamburgers or steak went down fairly well. I was deeply concerned I would gain twice as much weight as I needed to while pregnant, and I certainly gained more than the suggested amount, but thankfully not at disconcerting levels.
The point of all this is that when I was about 8 weeks along, feeling horrendous, unable to eat pretty much anything, I tried this soup. And OH MY GOSH was it delicious. So wonderful in fact, I ate several bowls full. My aunt made this without knowing my condition and was pleased by how much I LOVED her soup. Needless to say I begged her for the recipe. I would now be able to eat a slightly different dish that had at least a small amount of vegetables within. ALRIGHT. I was beyond excited. This stuff is delish. I haven’t tried the original Olive Garden version yet, but why spend 10-20 bucks on something I can just whip up in my own kitchen whenever I want?
p.s. I’m sure there are many versions of this recipe floating around the Internet… And I’m not entirely sure where my aunt found this particular one, but it is definitely a keeper!
Olive Garden Zuppa Tuscana
- 1 lb. Italian sausage
- 3 strips bacon cooked and crumbled
- 2 large russet baking potatoes, sliced in half and then in ¼ inch slices
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 chicken bouillon cubes
- 8 c water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 c kale or swiss chard chopped
- 1 c heavy whipping cream
- In a pot brown sausage. Remove from pot and set aside. Add bacon to pan and cook until crisp. Remove from pot and set aside. Once bacon is cooled crumble it up into nice little pieces.
- Place onions, potatoes, chicken broth, water and garlic in same pot and cook on medium heat until potatoes are done.
- Add sausage and bacon to soup. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn to low heat.
- Add kale and cream. Heat through and serve.