Category Archives: soup

Zuppa Toscana (sausage and potato soup)

I found this recipe on It is listed as a copycat of the Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana but I think it’s better. I modified it slightly by cutting the potatoes into chunks instead of slices and by adding a little crushed red pepper towards the end of browning the sausage. It adds a little kick.  This is a great way to use left over baked potatoes!

Zuppa Toscana Ingredients
1 lb Mild Italian Sausage
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 large baked potatoes, cut into chunks
1 large onion
3 slices of cooked bacon chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
2 cups chopped Kale
16 ounces of chicken broth
1 quart water
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Zuppa Toscana Method:
Brown sausage in your soup pot. Drain and return to pot and add crushed red pepper.
Add chicken broth and water to pot and stir.
Place onions, potatoes, and garlic in the pot.
Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done.
Add bacon.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer for another 10 minutes.
Turn to low heat.
Add kale and cream.
Heat through and serve.

Visit for some more great Italian recipes!

Ciao, Mike.

Chicken and Vegetable Soup


When there is so much bad weather across the country there is only one thing to do….make soup!! And vegetable soup is my favorite. This posting is a real challenge for me because, although I’ve made vegetable soup many times, I’ve never used a recipe. So this time I made it and took notes and this is what I ended up with. I don’t think you can mess up vegetable soup if you keep things basic, but with a few easy techniques, it can be an amazing meal.  I only served this recipe to three people and two of them told me it was the best vegetable soup they have ever eaten! I was the third and I agree! Enjoy!

Chicken and Vegetable Soup Ingredients:
2 Chicken Breasts
48 oz chicken broth (low sodium)
2 cloves Garlic(minced)
1 Celery stock (chopped)
2 carrots (chopped)
1 medium onion (diced)
1 can whole tomatoes (14.5 oz can) – (chopped)
1 cup frozen peas, corn and green beans
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbls crushed red pepper
salt and pepper
Optional, but important: 1 tbls Morton’s Season Salt

Chicken and Vegetable Soup Method:

I am making the short version of this soup by using chicken broth. If you want to be adventurous, simmer a small chicken in a pot of water for 2 hours, pull the chicken out of the pot and let cool. Strain the broth and reserve the liquid and cool the chicken and pull the meat and replace for the chicken breast in this recipe. I did a poach on 2 chicken breast because it’s much quicker and does not compromise the taste.

Poach the chicken breast in a pot or pan by covering it and simmering for about 30 minutes or until the breast is 165 internal temp.


While the chicken is cooking cut up the  vegetables. I like traditional vegetable soup ingredients so I use celery, carrots, and onion. (Use what you like!)


I start by heating a dutch oven to medium/high head and adding the garlic for about 30 seconds, then adding the celery, carrots and onion. I sweat the vegetables on medium heat until the onions are clear. This is key to this dish: add the crushed red pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add the chicken broth. Cook for 20 minutes on medium heat.


When the chicken is cooked through, remove it and let cool for a few minutes and chop into similar size as the vegetables and add all of the remaining ingredients including all frozen vegetables.  Cook for 15-20 minutes, add Morton’s salt and pepper. If you like a more creamy soup you can run an immersion blender through the soup for a minute , but I like it chunky with a bite!


Ciao! Mike.