Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Low Carb Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana

I recently went to dinner with a friend and she chose Olive Garden.  I've never been a huge Olive Garden fan but since my diet, I'm not so finicky about where I eat out at as long as I have some keto options.  Strange how that is, give me fewer options and I care less!  I checked the menu ahead of time to determine what options I would have and ended up not being disappointed.  I skipped the bread sticks (the horror) and ordered the Zuppa Toscana to start. Olive Garden's version comes with chunks of potatoes but I figured out I could just eat around them, so I did.  I could also have done the salad but I eat a lot of salad already so wanted something different.  For my entree I got some baked talapia with a side of steamed broccoli. It wasn't the only option I had either but a good choice.  The soup was the best though.  In fact my waiter told me if I had told him up front he would have just got me more broth and skimped on the potatoes.  Next time.  As I was eating the soup, I thought, I bet I could make this low-carb at home.  And so I did.  Below is my recipe for my low-carb version of Zuppa Toscana, which turned out so good that my family had a hard time staying out of it.  Next time, I think I'll double the recipe.  Also to note, my version has more veggies and sausage... I had to make up for the potatoes somehow.

Low-carb Zuppa Toscana

2 Tbs Real Butter
1/2 Chopped Onion
1 Tbs Minced Garlic
1/2 Tsp Red Pepper
1 LB Sweet Italian Sausage
1 Pkg Frozen Spinach
5 C Chicken Broth
Heavy Whipping Cream
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste

On the stove in a large soup pot, add your butter and chopped onion.  Stir until onion is translucent.  Add frozen spinach and mix together with onion until spinach breaks down.  Add garlic and red pepper.  Add sausage and cook until sausage is fully cooked.  Add chicken broth, salt and pepper.   Let cook on stove for at least 30 minutes.  Ladle soup into serving bowl and a splash of heavy whipping cream and stir together.  Top with grated Parmesan.

Believe me, you won't be disappointed.

I did consider adding cauliflower as a potato supplement. My family isn't big on cauliflower so I decided not to this time but will probably give it a try next time.

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