This Zuppa Toscana recipe is comfort food at its best! Decadent, loaded with bold flavors, and oh so incredibly creamy. If you love the version served at the chain Italian restaurant, you will fall head over heels for this one!
What’s better than a warm bowl of soup on a cold day? From Chicken and Rice Soup to Tom Kha, I have a collection of delicious recipes that are nourishing and exciting!
A Zuppa Toscana recipe that is better than Olive Garden!
This is possibly my favorite soup of all times. It is on rotation and always gets my family excited about dinner time!
I mean… What’s not to love? Bacon, sausage, potatoes, kale and cream? That sounds like an A-team for me!
There’s something about cozying up with a bowl of homemade soup on a cold winter night that makes my heart flutter. But I am known for setting the house to 60 degrees in the summer when I am craving comfort food! (I also like to sleep with a comforter, so my house is cold year round. Sorry, family!)
After all, there’s no way I’ll limit my Zuppa Toscana enjoyment to only 3 months (well, six if you include fall)!
So, yeah, make this Zuppa Toscana recipe. Make this whether it’s spring, summer, fall or winter. Make it all the time! You won’t regret it!
What is Zuppa Toscana?
Zuppa Toscana, pronounced zoo-pah to-scah-nah, is a soup made with Italian sausage, bacon, potatoes, kale and cream, popularized by a North American restaurant called Olive Garden.
Is Zuppa Toscana an Authentic Italian soup?
Yes and no.
I’ll explain! Zuppa Toscana means “Tuscan Soup” in Italian. However, the classic tuscan soup is usually made with veggies (like zucchini, celery, carrots), kale, potatoes, cannellini beans, tomato sauce, pancetta and toasted bread.
The American version is quite different, much richer and creamier.
So yes, there is Zuppa Toscana in Tuscany. But no, it doesn’t resemble the one I am sharing with you today!
What you need to buy:
- 2 pounds Russet Potatoes (about 5 or 6 medium potatoes)
- 1 bunch kale – I recommend buying lacinato kale.
- 2 large shallots
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 package thick cut bacon
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
- 1 block Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 pint heavy cream
- Chicken Broth – if you don’t have homemade.
- White wine – like Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.
Ingredients I’m assuming you already have in your pantry. But, if not, make sure to buy them as well!
- Olive oil
- Black pepper
- Red pepper flakes
- Cornstarch – optional.
How to make Zuppa Toscana
There are many ways to make Zuppa Toscana, including using the slow cooker or the Instant Pot.
This Zuppa Toscana recipe is made on the stove, in one pot. It’s simple, easy and ready in less than one hour! You can certainly adapt the recipe to use with your favorite appliance, if you prefer.
Recommended equipment/tools: Dutch oven, wooden spoon.
Here’s how I make this Zuppa Toscana recipe. As always, you will find the printable (and more complete) version of the recipe at the end of this post!
- Cook the bacon: Cook the bacon until golden brown. Remove and reserve.
- Brown the sausage: Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown the sausage. Remove and reserve. Drain most of the rendered fat, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pot.
- Sauté the aromatics: Add the shallots and garlic and cook until softened. Then, add the white wine to deglaze the pot.
- Add the potatoes and stir to combine.
- Add the chicken broth and red pepper flakes. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes.
- Add the reserved bacon and sausage back into the pot. Stir in the kale and heavy cream.
- Cook for about 5 minutes or until the kale is thick and the soup has thickened slightly.
- Add the grated parmesan and mix to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper.
|Olivia’s Tip: For a thicker soup, make a cornstarch slurry by mixing 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream. Add at the end and let the soup boil until it reaches the desired consistency.|
What to serve with Zuppa Toscana?
This soup is a meal in itself. However, as is the case with almost any soup, it goes great with some crusty bread or garlic breadsticks.
Oh, and don’t forget extra Parmesan and red pepper flakes!
How long will it keep?
This soup is best enjoyed freshly made. The leftovers, when stored in an airtight container, will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To reheat, place the soup in a saucepan and reheat over low heat, stirring frequently and adding more heavy cream as needed to bring it back to the original consistency.
Can you freeze Zuppa Toscana?
Can you? Yes. Should you? No.
Soups that contain dairy often separate when reheated. Potatoes also don’t freeze well and will likely be mushy and fall apart when thawed.
If you really must freeze, be ready to add some heavy cream when reheating. Adding fat (heavy cream) will help you fix the curdled texture.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 strips, 5-6 ounces thick bacon, diced
- 1 pound sweet italian sausage, casings removed
- 2 large shallots, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 32 fl oz, or 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1 bunch lancinato kale, stems removed and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Optional: Cornstarch slurry, 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons cold heavy cream.
- Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch Oven or heavy-bottomed pot, over medium-high heat. Add the diced bacon and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate to soak up the excess grease.
- Add the sausage and cook, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove and reserve with the bacon. Drain most of the fat that has rendered in the pot, leaving only 1 or 2 tablespoons.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the shallots and garlic, sautéing until softened and fragrant, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the white wine to deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to loosen all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook until mostly evaporated.
- Add the potatoes and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Then, add the chicken broth and red pepper flakes. Bring it to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 10-12 minutes.
- Stir in the reserved bacon and sauce, as well as the chopped kale and heavy cream. Simmer until the kale softens and the cream thickens slightly. For a thicker soup, you can add a cornstarch slurry and let it boil until the soup thickens to the desired consistency.
- Stir in the parmesan cheese.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately!
- Bacon: Turkey bacon can be used instead.
- Sweet Italian Sausage: You can use hot sausage if you’d like more heat. Or you can substitute for chicken or turkey sausage instead.
- Kale: Collard greens, swiss chard or spinach will work as well!
- Potatoes: Using cauliflower florets will make this a keto Zuppa Toscana!
- Heavy Cream: Using half and half will reduce the amount of fat in the recipe.