You know that delicious soup you get at Olive Garden with the sausage and the potatoes and kale swimming in a light but creamy broth?
This soup is not that.
So many recipes claim to be “copycat” recipes of favorite restaurant foods, and so many fail. Why is that? I’m sure I can’t say.
Anyway, this looked really good when I pinned it. “Mmm!” I said to myself, “I love Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana!”
I did not love this soup.
To be fair, this soup isn’t bad. It’s just not very good.
I thought it was greasy and it all tasted the same and I think it could have been done better on the stovetop in a half hour.
Flavor: Three Stars – All the flavors melded together in the crockpot. Not to mention that the bacon in this made it seem just incredibly greasy.
Skill Level: Low – This recipe required browning some sausage and bacon before dumping things into the crockpot. Pretty easy.
Time: Medium/Low – Realistically this doesn’t take that much time, but one of my pet peeves is having to cook things before I put it in a crockpot. Isn’t that the point of using a crockpot? I can just dump stuff in there before walking out the door to work? This ain’t that kind of recipe, y’all.
Overall: Three Stars – Not bad, but not a good recipe either. I’m tempted to bump this down to two and a half stars because Hubby and I both felt it sat really heavy in our stomachs afterwords.
If you really want to make this recipe, I do have some suggestions for making it better.
- Replace the regular sausage with spicy sausage. I actually did this already for mine because I seemed to recall the Olive Garden version having some zip to it.
- Don’t follow the directions for the bacon. When I cooked the bacon and the onions together, my onions started to burn before my bacon was anywhere near ready. Either omit the bacon altogether and brown your onions with your sausage (probably what I would do), or cook the bacon so that it is nice and crispy then drain off most of the grease and cook your onions in what remains.
- Skip the crockpot altogether. Honestly, if you’re going to the trouble to brown your sausage before putting it in the crockpot, simmering it on the stove for 20 minutes is faster and just as easy.
Those are my suggestions for doctoring up this recipe, but truthfully if a recipe requires more than just a little tweak, I’m not likely to make it again. Too many good recipes, not enough time!