Zuppa Toscana

I have heard of zuppa Toscana many times before, particularly as a famed dish that is very popular at Olive Garden.  I rarely eat out, even more rarely at that particular establishment, and when I do eat there I never order soup (how can I resist pasta?!)  So I can’t say how this compares to their version.  What I can say it that it was very, very good.  My decision to try this was based on a gorgeous bunch of kale I purchased at the farmers’ market recently.  It is not an ingredient I have used much but this was the first thing that came to mind – I’m guessing the chill in the air had something to do with that.  This is a very hearty soup packed full of flavor.  With crumbled sausage, chunks of russett potatoes and the earthy bite from the kale in a creamy broth, this is a meal in itself.  I used half turkey and half regular Italian sausage because that was what I had on hand and also to cut a few extra calories.  I thought it tasted just right this way and I’ll definitely do that again in the future.

Zuppa Toscana
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1 lb. Italian sausage (or half regular, half turkey sausage)
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup white wine to deglaze the pan
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 russett potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
2 cups fresh kale, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
2.5 cups water
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper

Place a large stockpot or Dutch oven on the stove over medium heat.  Crumble the sausage into the pan and cook until well browned.  Remove the cooked sausage from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl; set aside.  Add the chopped onion to the pan and sauté until tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook for a minute more, just until fragrant.  Add the wine to the pot and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits.  Add the potatoes, kale, chicken broth and water to the pot.   Return the sausage to the pot.  Increase the heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer on medium-low.  Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender and cooked through.  Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

Source: adapted from Recipezaar

30 Responses

  1. I love the zuppa toscana soup at the OG! I used to work there and my uncle kept bugging me to get the recipe but I was never successful. The picture looks fantastic. I will be trying it soon and passing on the recipe to my uncle!

  2. I like the sound of Italian sausage in that soup!

  3. Wow, this is actually one of my favorite soups at OG too! Nice picture! I am going to have to try this!

  4. Hi Annie! I always love what you have to offer for amazing recipes! (I’m especially a fan of the desserts 😛 ) I’m assuming you put the meat back in right before you bring it to a boil?

  5. I love soups. This is a nice different kind of soup that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. Thanks for sharing!

  6. My uncle made this soup for me awhile back and I loooooved it. I’ve been meaning to make it ever since. I think you’ve inspired me to finally do it!

  7. Awesome. I love this soup. In fact, most of the time when we go to Olive Garden, I skip the pasta all together and just get the bottomless soup and salad combo and just keep asking for more of this soup over and over and over. Yummy!!!

  8. Oooh, this looks cozy and comforting. Yum!

  9. Thanks!!! I just wanted to make sure! I didn’t want to mess it up!!!

  10. I make this soup all the time!! My family loves it and they request it on special occasions including this past Christmas. Your recipe is very similar to what I use. There are 2 differences. 1 – I don’t use any white wine. 2 – mine has bacon in it. I have been told that mine is better than the one at the OG. I think it is becasue I use lots of bacon, extra red pepper flakes and it is made fresh and not sitting around like it is at a restaurant.

  11. well…I’ve had that soup at Olive Garden and I must say it’s more brilliant that any of their pasta (and I am a major pasta lover). Paired with their bread sticks and a side of alfredo sauce for dipping it’s a perfect little dinner.

    Thanks for sharing your recipe…I’m going to save it!

  12. We never go to OG, but I love this soup and make it all through the winter months – yours looks wonderful!

  13. I made this tonight. Used hot Italian sausage because we like a little kick. It was great!

  14. Ooh, I bought some vegetarian Italian “sausage” that I didn’t have a good plan for, and I think this might be it! I love kale and never eat at Olive Garden, and I even have all the ingredients. It looks delicious!

  15. I think I’ll give this a try with white butter beans and lots of fennel. Such a wonderful sounding soup, and I’ve never before made it!

    • You have done it again. I love soup in the fall, and this is my absolute favorite! I am making it right now and it smells great! Thanks for makiing me into a wonderful cook!!

  16. My recipe is very similar and I must say, this is darn good soup!

  17. Hi Annie! My hubby LOVES this soup, so he was very excited to hear I was making it! It turned out great! THANKS so much for the recipe!

  18. I am sending this to my mom! She is a soup fanatic and this looks incredible!!!!

  19. Last week, two friends were talking about this soup and later the same day I saw your post. I sent it to both of them and they made it and both said it was so good.

  20. My sister and I run a family business for our brother and father. We make lunch everyday for 8-12 men. We are always looking for great recipes and were sooo excited to find your blog. We made this soups today and it was a big hit. We are on our 5th recipe of yours and we are BIG fans.

  21. Kale was just made to go into soup, don’t you think? This sounds like the kind of filling soup that makes a great dinner. I love making big batches of soup and freezing some for later… although I’m not sure how that would work with a creamy soup like this. what do you think?

    • Hi Erin,
      You know, I am really not sure. I have never frozen a creamy soup but I don’t really see why it wouldn’t work. I’m sure as long as you mixed it up really well after reheating it would be fine. I’ll have to test that out sometime soon.
      🙂 Annie

  22. Made this last night with one of my friends. We loved it! It’s the only thing my hubbie and I get at Olive Garden, and we have made it once before (not using a recipe, didn’t put the wine) but do not remember it being this good. This time, I used this recipe with minor modications- hot & zesty pork sausage that added a lot of spice, all 5.5 cups liquid being chicken broth, and half and half instead of cream. Topped with fresh parmesan. We couldn’t stop talking about!! Thanks for a winner!

  23. Annie,
    I made this for my family last night and everyone loved it! My husband even admitted that he enjoyed the kale.
    Thanks for your great recipes and simple instructions.

  24. I worked at Olive and lovvved this soup its all I ever ate! I would watch the cooks prepare the soup in the morning just to have an idea of what goes in Thx for the rest!!

  25. I’m completely new to cooking with wine. Do you have any suggestions on what to use?

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