Maui people, we are right in the middle of the short gap between Christmas and New Years. You might be planning your next holiday meal or given we’ve had a couple of chilly, windy days, it might be nice to have a heart-warming bowl of soup. This article will share a favorite recipe of mine, an Italian soup dish. Growing up in Hawaii, I would always see the Olive Garden commercials and dream about all the yummy food. Endless servings of buttery breadsticks, fresh salad, pastas and soups would fill my mind. I thought, someday I’d like to go there. Later in life, I moved to Washington State and Olive Garden was first on my list. It was great!
One of my favorites dishes at Olive Garden is a soup called the Zuppa Toscana. I’ve learned how to make this soup mainly because now that I’m back on Maui, we don’t have an Olive Garden here. Oahu opened the first Olive Garden in Hawaii, located in Ala Moana Shopping Center. Whenever I crave Zuppa Toscana, which means Tuscan Soup in Italian, I whip up a pot with this recipe. Zuppa Toscana is warm and hearty, and a great dish to share during holiday dinners.
Here’s what you need:
Ingredients: Bacon, Italian Sausage, Thyme, Yellow onion, Potatoes, Kale, Half + half, Salt, Pepper.
1. Cut the bacon + onion into small pieces. Fry the bacon first until it starts to release oils then add onions and thyme
2. Pull the leaves off of the thyme branch and add to the pot. I use about 10 sprigs.
3. Squeeze the Italian sausage out of the casing and break it up into small pieces. Add to pot.
4. Let the meat cook thoroughly + add 2-3 pinches of Hawaiian Salt or Sea salt.
5. Add chicken stock or water to fill the pot. I use about 12 cups of water. Water will cook down so you can add more if you want more soup. Boil for 20 min.
6. Cut potatoes into half moon sizes. Add to pot and boil for 20 more minutes.
7. Cut kale into small pieces. I use about 4-6 leaves depending on your liking. Add to the pot and turn off the stove. Remove from heat. Let the kale blanche. Buon appetito! Enjoy!