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Greasy Soup Woes

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello all--been a long-time visitor and decided to post about an issue I had recently.

I got my hands on the recipe for Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden which I love, and it was dead on and delicious.

One weird quality about the soup is that it ended up being quite emulsive, which I definitely don't remember it ever being like that at the restaurant. I was hoping that maybe someone could shed some light on this.

Basic process:
- I browned the italian sausage in the soup pot itself, reserving the fond but getting rid of as much grease as possible
- I removed the meat from the pot and set aside
- I added sliced potatoes, 10 cups of water, 1 cup of heavy cream, and the seasoning to the pot and cooked to a simmer
- I replaced the meat and cooked everything until the potatoes were fall-apart soft

At this point there was quite a bit of separated oil in the pot and I'm not sure where it came from. Was the heavy cream cooked at too high a heat and it separated? Were the remnants of the italian sausage enough to produce that much grease?

Regardless, the soup did essentially turn out as an emulsion and you had to mix it well before serving (and again before the bowl was finished). As yummy as it is, that's a little gross/unsettling to a lot of people so I wanted to get to the bottom of this so that it can either be minimized or avoided next time I cook it.
post #2 of 12
This thread is about the same soup and should help you refine your recipe and approach. I've never had this soup go greasy on me.

http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/recip...ve-garden.html

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #3 of 12
At this point there was quite a bit of separated oil in the pot and I'm not sure where it came from. Was the heavy cream cooked at too high a heat and it separated? Were the remnants of the italian sausage enough to produce that much grease?

There definitely would be some residual fat from the sausage. But it sounds like you cooked the cream for a little too long, essentialy broke it. For the fat you could chill it then skim off the top. When you go back to heat it up, whisk the soup into some reduced cream and it should come back nice & tight
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks Scarecrobot--I think that's it. I seem to remember adding the cream with the potatoes, and since it took so long to break those down the heat probably separated the cream. I've heard of whisking reduced cream back into a broken cream sauce; I'll deifnitely try that if this happens again.

And thanks for the link phatch, but I'm actually using the restaurant's recipe (had a friend that worked there). It's quartered to make it reasonable for home-cooking but it comes out spot on.
post #5 of 12
Would you be kind enough to post the recipe?

Shel
post #6 of 12
At home, if I am browning ground sausage or burger, I put the meat in a colander and rinse under warm water, shake the water off well, then return to the skillet. A little unorthodox I know but it removes a surprising amount of grease and the the fond is still in the pan.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Sure:
- 1 lb. italian sausage, ground
- 4 tbsp. bacon, sliced
- 2 tsp garlic purée
- 3 large Russet potatos, sliced skin on
- 1 large white onion, brunoised
- 1/4 bunch kale
- 10 cups water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1.25 tbsp. crushed red chili
- 5 cubes chicken bouillon

1.) In a large pot brown the italian sausage and crushed chilis at a medium heat. Drain excess fat and set aside in the refriderator to cool.
2.) Sautée onions, bacon, and garlic purée in the same pot until the onions are translucent.
3.) Mix together bouillon and water, then add to pot with the onion, bacon, and garlic. Cook until boiling.
4.) Add potatoes and cook until soft, about 35 minutes.
5.) Add heavy cream and cook until thoroughly heated.
6.) Stir in sausage and cook until warm, add kale before serving.
post #8 of 12
I would just add the cream last.
post #9 of 12
Your recipe includes no amount for the garlic puree.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #10 of 12
Yep I agree with everyone here...cream only to finish the soup. I also bet there was a tiny bit more grease in the sausage than you had previously thought.

But my main gripe with this soup is the danged ole boullion cubes! GRRRRRRROOOOSSSSSSSSS!!!!! This is just a classic kale and sausage soup. I adore it but wouldn't it be soooo much nicer made with a gorgeous chicken stock and "fuhgettabout da boullion"! Even the canned Swanson's would HAVE to be better than the funky aftertaste you get from boullion and soup bases.

Better luck next time!!!
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Oops, sorry forgot to include it in the ingredients list.

I changed the original post is to reflect that.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Oh absolutely, but this is a chain restaurant recipe after all. Some corners have to be cut in the name of the almighty overhead $. :P
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