Friday, November 14, 2014

Recommended with Zuppa Toscana

Happy Soup Season, y'all!

I've had a love-hate relationship with soup for years.  There were some that I liked, some that I loved, and some that made me think I hated soups altogether.  I've been talking with Caleb to try and find soups that we both like.  We all know that when you make soup, there's going to be a lot of it, and it would take a long time to eat an entire pot on my own.  Roaming through Pinterest last week landed me on Annie's recipe for Zuppa Toscana of Olive Garden fame, and even though it was a soup we hadn't discussed, I decided to try it.  It has meat in it (which Caleb would approve of), it has kale in it (which I've been wanting to experiment with), and it looks creamy and hearty and just perfect for fall.

Guys.  Using this recipe was an excellent decision, my soup was better than what you'll get at Olive Garden, and I highly recommend it.  See my notes after the jump.

I used Annie's recipe, and unusually, I was able to follow it exactly!  I wouldn't make any changes, either.  The broth had a clean feel to it, which was peculiar considering the sausage grease was included.  The bitterness of the kale mellowed out, which made it an nice addition that didn't bring in too wild of a flavor.  What surprised me the most, though, were the potatoes.  If you taste Olive Garden's version of the soup, the potatoes will have disintegrated a bit and made the broth thicker.  When making this at home, though, you're able to serve immediately, which means the potatoes are soft but not mushy, and the broth remains simple and pure.

Caleb and I both had seconds.  And Thirds.  No tea star for me.

Even the leftovers are tasty, but I will say that the potatoes start to break down a little after sitting for just 30 minutes.  During my first helping, the cut lines of the potatoes were still smooth with the potato being soft and tender.  They outsides got just a smidgen mealy after waiting in the soup a while, and I bet that's why the broth at Olive Garden feels thicker: the potatoes sit and wait and begin disintegrating because it's not fresh-fresh.  I certainly wouldn't recommend against eating leftover zuppa toscana, but just keep in mind that the peak feeding time is immediately after the potatoes are tender.

Googling other variations on this recipe and reading the comments sections is a great way to learn of different ways to prepare this soup.  One girl uses spinach instead of kale and adds bacon.  One girl adds in a little nutmeg.  Another adds some vanilla and lots of fennel.  I'd like to experiment with the nutmeg and a little fennel, but the soup was perfection as is.

Let me know if you try it!  I promise that this recipe will not disappoint you!

This first one is required.  A beautiful and heartbreaking ad you must watch.

More great grammar rules.  I didn't know a lot of these, what about you, Andrea?

Are ladders too trendy now?  Because I'd love to have something like this in my home.

If I were still single and didn't have to worry about appealing to anyone else's decor preferences, I would totally use this bedspread.  How vibrant and exciting!

This made me laugh so hard.

I already have many fine blankets (I got two as presents just last year!) but looking at these yummy blankets from Pottery Barn still makes me want more.  Especially this one.  And this one.

Every time I travel somewhere new, I wish to get as much local information as I can.  I had no idea places like Tokyo offer volunteer tour guides!  That would be a great way to learn about the city!  (Also, I'd love to be a tour guide one day!)

I don't know the works of many dog photographers, but I know a favorite when I see one.  Alicja Zmys┼éowska's work is beautiful and bright, and I can't help but smile when I look through all her dog pictures.  Here's her devientart gallery


  1. the picture of this looks gorgeous. i am such a soup fan! id love it if youd comment back http://www.amyelizabethfashion.com/2014/11/uk-blog-awards-and-london-dolls-giveaway.html xx

  2. I didn't know a lot of those either! :) I could stand to read more tips from that guy! He was funny.

    Go for the ladder decor! Who cares if it's trendy, if you like it go for it.

    I have been lusting after big chunky cable knit blankets lately. They're super expensive though :(

    Loved the ad.

    1. Thanks for validating my ladder love! I was trying to tell myself the same thing, but hearing it from someone helps. :) Now I just got to find one that is well priced! There's actually a store near my home town that sells stuff like that, old found things that look so rustic and awesome, but because it's all in vogue, it's mega expensive. Yikes!

      Maybe we can settle for cable knit sweaters for a while? :)


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