The first real date I ever went on was at the age of 15 or 16, and we went to the Olive Garden with my best friend and her boyfriend. Double dates were all the rage. I remember being extremely nervous about the fact it was my first date, but also because I was not an adventurous eater at all. If there wasn’t a cheeseburger on the menu then I wouldn’t eat there. I couldn’t say no to this boy who was trying to be fancy and all so I sucked it up. I am almost positive I ended up ordering a pizza. Eventually my tastes developed and so did my taste in boys. I moved on.
I still don’t frequent the Olive Garden that often because we have so many wonderful Italian restaurants to eat in my little town. Plus I just don’t love chains as much as I used to, sigh. Apparently this soup is one of the more popular items on the Olive Garden’s menu. This soup caught my eye because it had sausage, potatoes, and cream. I was intrigued. I had some sausage to use up in the freezer, and I had some leftover kale from spicy kale lasagna. Now I never have had the original version so I can’t really compare on how close it tastes to the real thing, but it is definitely hearty and delicious. There is a nice kick from the red pepper flakes so if spice is not your thing, omit them. The only complaint I could make was that I planned this for a 60 degree weather, come on, I would like at least one snow day this year!
1 lb. Italian sausage (or half regular, half turkey sausage)
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ cup white wine to deglaze the pan
2 russett potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
2 cups fresh kale, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
2½ cups water
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
What you’ll do:
Place a large stockpot or Dutch oven on the stove over medium heat. Crumble the sausage into the pan and cook until well browned. Remove the cooked sausage from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl; set aside. Add the chopped onion to the pan and sauté until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook for a minute more, just until fragrant. Add the wine to the pot and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Add the potatoes, kale, chicken broth and water to the pot. Return the sausage to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer on medium-low. Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender and cooked through. Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Source: Annie’s Eats