Inspired by "Zupas" in Alysha's post, here is a recipe for my favorite soup ever - Olive Garden's Zuppa Tuscana. This recipe is so amazingly close that we hardly dine out for it anymore. I've got another recipe for their salad (dressing included), but I haven't tried it out yet. Hope you enjoy!
1-2 lbs spicy Italian sausage (not in the casings - found packaged like ground beef)
3/4 cups onions, diced
10 slices bacon
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. chicken bouillon powder (or 2 cubes, crushed)
2 quarts water
5-6 medium potatoes sliced up and then halve the slices
2 cups kale leaves sliced thinly (spinach can be substituted)
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream (try fat free half and half)
parmesan cheese for garnish
Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Place sausage links on a sheet pan and bake 25 minutes or until done. Cool, then cut in slices, then halve the slices.
Put onions and bacon in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until the onions are almost clear. Remove bacon and crumble.
Add garlic to onions and cook one minute. Add bouillon powder, water and potatoes. Simmer 15 minutes.
Add bacon, sausage, kale and cream. Simmer 4 minutes and serve. Garnish with parmesan cheese.