Zuppa Toscana, Olive Garden's famous soup, is easy to make at home in one pot. It's hearty and full of Italian sausage, kale, bacon, and potatoes.
What is Zuppa Toscana?
Zuppa is the Italian word for 'soup' and Toscana means 'Tuscan.' So, Zuppa Toscana is Tuscan Soup! It's traditionally made with kale, potatoes, onions, and garlic, and is usually served with a sprinkle of cheese on top.
Zuppa Toscana Soup Copycat Recipe
Imagine sitting down to a warm bowl of Zuppa Toscana Soup, made right in your kitchen. Sure, Olive Garden makes a good one, but wait till you try this homemade recipe! It might be the mix of easy seasonings or picking your favorite sausage (spicy, mild, or hot). Your family is going to love this soup.
Oh, and don't forget to check out our PRO TIPS!
✅ Ingredients You'll Need
- Italian Sausage: Mild, hot or Spicy Italian Sausage, depending on your preference. Turkey sausage can be a leaner alternative.
- Bacon: Adds smokiness and depth. Can be omitted for a lighter version or substituted with turkey bacon.
- Butter: Unsalted is preferred to control the sodium level. Olive oil can be a healthier substitute.
- Onion: Yellow or white onion for a sweet, mellow flavor. Shallots can be used for a milder taste.
- Garlic: Fresh minced garlic is best for flavor. In a pinch, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder can substitute for each clove.
- Flour: Used to thicken the soup. For a gluten-free option, cornstarch or a gluten-free flour blend can be used.
- Chicken Broth: Low-sodium is recommended. Vegetable broth will work too.
- Beef Bouillon: Adds richness.
- Russet Potatoes: Known for their starchy quality and fluffy texture. Yukon Gold potatoes can be a creamier substitute.
- Half and Half/Heavy Cream: Makes the soup creamy. For a lighter version, use whole milk or a plant-based milk for a dairy-free option.
- Chopped Kale: Tuscan or curly kale, stems removed. Baby spinach or Swiss chard are great alternatives.
- Seasonings: Adjust mustard powder, parsley, fennel, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste. You can use Italian seasoning instead of other herbs.
- Parmesan Cheese: For serving. Can be substituted with Pecorino Romano or left out for a dairy-free version.
🔪 How to Make Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe
In a large pot or Dutch oven, brown the sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon. Once it's fully cooked, drain off most of the oil, leaving roughly 1 teaspoon of drippings in the pot. Then, transfer the sausage to a plate.
In the same pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon on medium heat until it's crispy, about 2 minutes. After that, drain the extra grease, keeping just 1-2 teaspoons in the pot. Then, place the bacon on the plate with the sausage.
Put the set-aside drippings and butter back in the soup pot and add the onions. Cook them on medium heat until they soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook it until it's fragrant, about 1 minute.
Then, mix in the flour and keep stirring for 2 minutes, until you can't smell the raw flour anymore.
Increase the heat to high, add the chicken broth, and bring it to a boil. Then, season the broth with crushed bouillon and add the other seasonings.
Put the potatoes into the boiling broth and cook them until they're tender enough to be pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium. Mix in the heavy cream, the cooked sausage and crispy bacon, and the kale. Let it all simmer for 2 minutes, until the kale leaves soften.
Serve and enjoy!
👨🍳 Pro Tips
- Choice of Sausage: Using spicy Italian sausage adds an extra kick, but mild sausage works well for less heat. You can also try turkey sausage for a leaner option.
- Potato Thickness: Slice potatoes evenly to ensure uniform cooking. Thinner slices will cook faster and blend into the soup more, while thicker slices will offer more texture.
- Kale vs. Spinach: Kale holds up better in the soup and doesn’t wilt as much as spinach. However, if you prefer a softer green, spinach is a great substitute.
- Creamy Texture: For a richer soup, use heavy cream. For a lighter version, half and half or whole milk are good substitutes.
- Cooking the Bacon: Ensure the bacon is crispy as it adds a nice texture and smoky flavor to the soup.
- Season to Taste: Adjust the seasonings towards the end of cooking.
- Serving Suggestion: Serve hot with crusty bread or a side salad. Grated Parmesan on top adds a nice touch.
To store, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. For longer storage, you can freeze the soup in a freezer-safe container for up to 2-3 months. When reheating, gently warm it on the stove or in the microwave. If you've added potatoes in the soup, be aware that they may become softer upon reheating after freezing.
More Delicious Soup Recipes
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Creamy Ground Chicken Soup-This soup features savory ground chicken in a creamy, flavorful broth, complemented by vegetables and herbs.
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