Olive Garden Potato Sausage Soup
Just like the Olive Garden makes
Italian sausage 5 links, or 20 oz. bulk
2 medium onions, chopped
8 small potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces (unpeeled), (8 cups)
chicken broth 12 cups (you can use chicken bouillon cubes or granules)
kale, chopped 3 cups (about half a bunch–you can chop and freeze the other half for another time)
1 t. salt
1 T. each fresh rosemary, oregano, and parsley
1 can evaporated skim milk (12 oz.)
Remove skin from sausage if desired. Brown completely in a non-stick skillet. If using links, brown, then cut into bite-size pieces, then continue browning until they are very brown and all the oil has been released. Drain completely on paper towels. Wipe out the skillet with paper towels, but leave a tiny bit of the oil from the sausage to coat it. Sautee onions in the skillet until soft.
In a large (8-quart) stock pot, bring potatoes and chicken broth to a boil. Cook potatoes, covered, 20 minutes, then add sausage and sauteed onion. Cover and simmer at least 30 more minutes. Add milk, kale, and seasonings. The soup can be eaten at this point, but will get even better if allowed to simmer at least two more hours on low (covered.) After the simmering, the soup will be slightly reduced.
Approximately 24 cups (this could vary depending on how much liquid evaporates during the simmering process).
Variation: substitute turkey Italian sausage and cut the fat and calories.
This soup freezes well and is perfect for those work lunches if you have access to a microwave. Take it frozen, and by lunch it has thawed enough to microwave. It’s just wonderful with a piece of bread or a salad.