This copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana recipe is better than the restaurant's! You'll love the combination of Italian sausage, bacon, potatoes and kale in a creamy broth.
Servings 12 cups
- 1 lb. sweet or spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced into ½-inch pieces
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- For serving: grated Parmesan; chopped fresh parsley; baguette, garlic bread, or breadsticks
Brown sausage in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked sausage to a paper towel-lined plate.
In the same pot, cook bacon until crisp. Remove to the plate with the sausage.
Drain off almost all of the grease, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pot. Add onions and cook over medium-high heat just until soft (about 5 minutes). Stir in garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Sprinkle flour over top, and cook and stir for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the chicken broth, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pot (there’s so much flavor there!). Add potatoes and bring to a boil. Gently boil for about 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
Reduce heat to low. Stir in cooked sausage and bacon. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer for 10 more minutes. Add kale and cream. Cook and stir for about 5 more minutes, or until kale is wilted. Do not boil. Ladle into individual bowls, garnish with Parmesan or parsley, and serve!
- When adding the broth to the pot, deglaze the pan by scraping up the browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. This adds so much flavor to the soup!
- Allow the cream to come to room temperature before stirring it into the soup.
- Once you add the cream, do not let the soup boil. If you boil the cream, the soup may curdle.
- Use spicy Italian sausage and crushed red pepper flakes for a bit of spice.
- Dice potatoes into uniform pieces so that they cook evenly.
- For a lighter broth, use half-and-half instead of heavy cream. It will not have quite the same rich mouthfeel, but it will still be tasty!
- Make the Zuppa Toscana with spinach instead of kale. Spinach wilts quickly and doesn't hold as much shape or texture in soup, so add it during the final 1 minute of cooking.
- For a low carb option, replace the potatoes with cauliflower florets.
- If available, try substituting pancetta for the bacon.
- Make it dairy-free by substituting canned full-fat coconut milk for the heavy cream.
Serving: 1cup | Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 943mg | Potassium: 476mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1412IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1mg