Nature’s copycats?


Pink wildflowers

I noticed the other day that some of my photos looked like copy cats of other things. Some photos  looked just like what they were, such as the flower pictured above but some photos seemed to resemble other things…

Like the dewdrops on the fuzz of a wildflower looked like exploding waves on a shoreline…


The vibrant center of a zinnia resembled bursting fireworks in the sky…


Dried remnants of a plant looked like little paper apples…

A sun soaked Autumn leaf was like a stained glass window…

Autumn leaf

And the twists and turns of a dried leaf could be nature’s version of curling ribbon…

Copycats can be fun, especially when it comes to food! One of my favorite copycat recipes is of a soup served at the restaurant “The Olive Garden”. They have a soup called  “Zuppa Toscana” that my husband and I just love! (especially my husband…)

This soup is a hearty combination of Italian sausage and potatotes. The  restaurant’s soup has sort of a milky appearance to it and I have always wondered what gave it that milky appearance.  I have made my version of this soup for years and finally decided to look up the copycat versions of this soup on the internet to see what someone else uses for the milky appearance. They all call for cream or milk – as well as adding bacon! I don’t put the bacon in the soup because I think it has enough fat with the sausage.

But adding the cream/milk didn’t seem to add much to the flavor of the soup . One day I had some leftover alfredo sauce  in the refrigerator and decided to pour it into the soup! And there it was! The milky appearance along with some extra creamy garlic flavor! Yummmm – and it got the thumbs up from my most important critic, my hubby! (I call him this because he absolutely LOVES this soup 🙂 )

Does it get the thumbs up from any other Zuppa Toscana lover’s out there??

Zuppa Toscana Soup

Into a large stockpot put:

      10 cups water

      10 chicken bouillon cubes

      1 – 16 0z. jar Alfredo sauce

Stir then bring to a boil. Meanwhile into a skillet place:

      1 lb. Italian seasoned bulk pork sausage

Fry until brown then drain on paper towels. When drained, put into the stockpot along with:

      2-3 Tablespoons chopped garlic (* see note at bottom)

      8 cups sliced (1/4 inch thick) potatoes

      2 handfuls kale ( washed, center tough veins removed and then chopped into small pieces)

Bring back up to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer covered for about 3 hours or until potatoes are soft.  This soup is good with a little freshly grated parmesan cheese over the top!

* We love garlic at our house! You may want to try 2 Tablespoons and then add more according to your tastes…

2 thoughts on “Nature’s copycats?

  1. Hi Mary! Even though I have never frozen this soup, I will take a guess and say it should… Are you going to be using your famous vaccum sealer?? Haha I have yet to use mine… Say, when do I get to come over and see all your beautiful dishes? 🙂

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