I’ve actually never had this soup from the Olive Garden Italian Restaurant before, but the hubs has, and has told me that mine tuned out even better than theirs! So, bless his heart, I’ll just take his word for it! 😉
What makes mine better? Well, I’m not sure exactly – – maybe it’s because I don’t make it by the silo-sized vat, and love and tender care goes into every pot?
Or maybe it’s the all of the extra ingredients and seasonings? The fresher quality that they have? Let’s face it, ginormous restaurant chains just can’t possibly do that and afford to stay in business.
Chain store food is made by the masses. For the masses. And loses something in the process. (…Now if I could just crack the code and make their breadsticks!) It just might be worth a try! 😉
So anyways, for the sausage, I used some of Johnsonville’s fully-cooked and ready to slice Cajun-Style Chicken Sausages that have 50% less fat, and BOY are they good! REALLY good! And coming from me, that’s huge, because I’m not into what I call “faux sausage”, “faux bacon” or “faux beef”, if you get my drift.
You won’t see “veggie burgers”, “ground chicken meatloaf”, or a “tofu turkey” on my table. Ever. No way. I’ve seen chicken sausages produced by other companies that looked VERY … shall we say – – “unappealing”!
But J-Ville’s actually even look like regular, country sausages. Smell fresh, smokey, and spicy. And the taste is absolutely wonderful!
They do contain some sausage along with chicken, but really liking that they have half the fat! They don’t have that “strange consistency”, either. We were both extremely pleasantly surprised! Those folks at Johnsonville really know their sausage!!
Other than the cream and bacon in this recipe, and I won’t budge on that! – – this is actually a fairly healthy soup! (And the cream only amounts to 1/4 of a cup (or less) per serving. So no need to freak out over a little bit of cream. It would not be the same without it!)
The spicy low-fat chicken sausage, along with protein-packed chicken breast meat, red potatoes, fresh cremini mushrooms, onions and a bundle of garden-fresh kale all make a splash into the pool! And no chicken broth is needed because the chicken is cooked in the pot and therefore creates it’s own natural broth.
I get frustrated with buying chicken broth anymore, and try not to unless I absolutely have to.
I mean, what do they do anymore – – stew one chicken and make 20,000 cans out of it??
It just doesn’t seem to have much flavor, if any at all, and seems like kind of a waste of money and not needed most of the time. The broth tuns out highly flavorful without the store-bought box. And a couple more Christmas bucks saved! Cha-ching! 😉
This couldn’t be simpler to make. Almost everything goes into the hot tub right off the bat, and there’s nothing to pre-cook. This is truly a “one pot wonder”! Then you just add your cream mixed with flour and parmesan cheese at the end to finish and thicken and – – wa-lah! – -you’re done! Incredibly easy!
Just ladle into bowls and serve with some nice warm, fresh-baked bread for sopping and top with some extra parmesan cheese if desired. So, please make sure to give this a try soon! You won’t be disappointed and it’s sure to be a huge hit with your loved ones! I hope I’ve helped, and you all have a most wonderful day! 🙂
*This soup can be made with almost any kind of sausage you prefer, ground or in casings.