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Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana

I have always liked the Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana soup so I started recreating it at home several years ago and we all enjoy it. Today was a very brisk day and soup sounded good so I decided to make a batch of Zuppa Toscana. Sometimes I use spinach in this soup but I find myself using kale more and more because it really holds up well in the leftover soup. This soup always smells amazing while it simmers and turns out creamy, flavorful, and so delicious. This Zuppa Toscana paired nicely with freshly baked bread and a tossed green salad and my entire family loved it.

Zuppa Toscana

How to Make Zuppa Toscana

Cook the diced bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until cooked through and crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the Dutch oven with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate; set aside.

Discard all but 2-3 teaspoons of bacon grease from the Dutch oven. Add the diced onion, crushed red pepper flakes, and crushed fennel seed to the Dutch oven. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes. Add the Italian sausage and cook, breaking the sausage up into crumbles with the spoon, for 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. add the chicken broth and potatoes. Bring to a slight boil then reduce to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the kale and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add the half and half and stir until well combined. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve with crumbled bacon on top. Enjoy.

Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8
Author: Pam - For the Love of Cooking

Ingredients

  • 4 pieces of bacon diced
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion diced
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds crushed
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1/2 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 large russet potatoes slightly peeled, quartered lengthwise, sliced thin
  • 2 cups of kale stems removed & chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cook the diced bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until cooked through and crisp, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove from the Dutch oven with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate; set aside.
  • Discard all but 2-3 teaspoons of bacon grease from the Dutch oven.
  • Add the diced onion, crushed red pepper flakes, and crushed fennel seed to the Dutch oven. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the Italian sausage and cook, breaking the sausage up into crumbles with the spoon, for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken broth and potatoes. Bring to a slight boil then reduce to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add the kale and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Add the half and half and stir until well combined.
  • Taste and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.
  • Ladle into bowls and serve with crumbled bacon on top. Enjoy.
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6 Comments

  1. I’ve never eaten the Olive Garden’s version, but yours looks delicious.

  2. i made this last night, and it was delicious! even my husband mentioned it, and he usually doesn’t think soup is a ‘real’ dinner. i used spinach (and heavy cream) because it was what i had. i’m not sure what ‘slightly peeled’ potatoes are, but mine came out that way anyway because my left hand is in a cast! definitely a keeper!

  3. Julie Hordyk says:

    Yum! I made this last night and it was fabulous. I used turkey Italian sausage to lighten it up, and a whole white onion (small, not the gigantic ones). I left the skin on the potatoes entirely, and it had a nice rustic look that way. I chose to use spinach so I could have the rest of it for salad, but I’m sure kale would be good as well. This soup has great flavor…it’s amazing what a little bacon and sausage will do! Another home run soup!