Zuppa Toscana

Apparently it’s really cold and snowy everywhere in the country while we are sweating our cakes off here in Florida. I can’t say that I miss the cold. I grew up in Arizona and never even owned a real coat until college. In college, when it would snow I would try as hard as I could to not go anywhere.  I managed to slide my car off the road a couple of times and was traumatized by it. I can’t even walk in the cold. I’m like Bambi on ice.

But there are a couple of things that I love about the cold. I love snowboarding and I love curling up with a warm hearty soup that takes the chill out of your bones.

If you’ve ever been to Olive Garden you’ll recognize this soup. It’s a knock off of their Zuppa Toscana. It’s spicy, filling, and full of flavor. Forget the restaurant soup, this is just as good if not better.

zuppa-toscana-soupEnjoy!

Zuppa Toscana

Yield: 8-10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 4-6 slices bacon, cooked and cut into pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 5 (13.75 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (see Note)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 bunch kale, coarsley chopped (swiss chard can be substituted)

Instructions

  1. Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes in a Dutch oven (or large pot with a lid) over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Add the onions and garlic the the same Dutch oven; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the chicken broth into the Dutch oven with the onion mixture and bacon; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage; heat through. Mix the kale into the soup just before serving.

Notes

You can control the thickness of the soup by the amount of potatoes you put in it. The original soup isn't extremely thick but is chunky.

Source: adapted from Allrecipes

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Comments

  1. This is my VERY favorite soup at OG! I look forward to trying this recipe (when we are done building our house and I have time to cook again!).

  2. This sounds absolutely perfect for the cold weather we’re having. I’m not sure I’ve tried this soup at Olive Garden, but I’ll definitely have to try it homemade :)

  3. Mmmm. This is my favorite soup at Olive Garden! How are your pictures so perfect? Lesson please!

  4. Here is my crock pot version of the zuppa toscana! So so so yummy :)
    http://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/2009/10/day-275-zuppa-toscana.html

  5. Christy-Yes, I would live in one of those frozen tundras jealously wishing I was in Florida! This soup looks great. I wish I had it right now as I am staring out onto our icy lake ;)

  6. This looks like the perfect way to warm up

  7. made this and it was soooo yummy…absolutely love your recipes! I have been on a “girl who ate everything ” cooking rampage lately and it has been awesome. thanks!

  8. Can I just say, YUM?!! Pinning…

  9. I made this soup. It is delicious!! All of my children liked it also. Good sign. Thank you!!!

  10. I made this soup and it was absolutley amazing!! So simple to make yet so delicious!! Thanks for the recipe!! I will be making this often.

  11. This sounds wonderful! Pinned to try soon. :)

  12. I haven’t been to Olive Garden recently but I distinctly remember the Zuppa Toscana and loving it. We had your spin on it for dinner tonight and it was absolutely delicious! Definitely better than the restaurant style (and a lot healthier, even with the cream)! There is no doubt, it will be made again and likely very soon!

  13. I’m thrilled to try this recipe! Quick question– Do you think a large pot with lid will suffice? I don’t own a dutch oven and don’t see one in my near future (recent graduate trying to expand past baked chicken and veggies), but am thrilled to try this recipe. Do you see any reason why that wouldn’t work?

    Thanks for posting!

  14. “Mmmmmm … this is a do over!” … first words out of my hubby’s mouth after his first taste of my homemade Zuppa Toscana, my first recipe from you! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your site is fabulous and I just can’t wait to try many more recipes.

  15. I made this Wednesday and it came out perfect!! Taste just like Olive Garden. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

  16. Debbie Kunnanz says:

    I have made this soup 3x in the last 3 weeks in hopes to have some to freeze… I have yet to have any leftovers! One hubby and 2 happy kids later I am making it again tonight. The only thing I did different is added a little Italian seasoning, It is a huge hit at my house, and delicious with bread sticks!

  17. Yum! This is one of my favorite soups at Olive Garden, you make it sound so easy. Pinning this now and making later! Thanks Christy!

  18. Did you use a spicy Italian?

  19. Hi Christy!

    Love your recipes…thanks for sharing!
    Please tell me the calorie content of this soup and if it can be made with light cream, turkey sausage and still receive the same texture and taste as with the heavy cream and regular sausage (guessing it is beef).

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Anna,
      Unfortunately I don’t know the calorie count but you can definitely use lighter cream and turkey sausage.

  20. My husband LOVED this and he isn’t a soup lover for dinner. This was so hearty and delicious that he found it quite satisfying. Another great recipe–thanks!

  21. This recipe is even tastier than the OG version. It has become a regular in our winter soup rotation. My local grocery was out of kale on one occasion so I substituted fresh spinach. My family loved it even more! Great recipe!

  22. Did you cook the bacon before you put it in the pot or does it cook when you bring the soup to a boil??

  23. Whoops! Blonde moment, never fully read all the ingredients! Can’t wait to try this!!

  24. Has anyone tried using fat free evaporated cream? I have that instead of half and half.

  25. This was so delicious!! My family loved it. I omitted the bacon because I didn’t have any on hand and substituted olive oil instead. It didn’t seem to affect the taste, it was still rich and comforting. Can’t wait to try more.

  26. I am making this soup tonight for our New Year’s Eve celebration with my family. They love the OG. Version, but this one will be so MUCH better!

  27. I made this using turkey sausage, fat free 1/2 & 1/2, Hormel real crumbled bacon pieces, and Alexis tri-cut potatoes (and 1 T butter) & fresh baby spinach. Lowered the fat and calories a lot and did not sacrifice flavor. Great recipe.

  28. I am with Chantelle. I love this soup. I haven’t been to Olive Garden in years, but the soup and the bread sticks are still a fond memory. Geez, I admire you by the way to have time for a blog with 5 kids. However what a wonderful looking family. Smiles

  29. Thanks for the recipe. Made it last week and was a big hit with my husband. A fav of his at Olive Garden.

  30. Thanks, my hubby loves that soup! I have to laugh because my name is also Christy and I do eat everything!