Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana
If you have ever been to Olive Garden and have had their Zuppa Toscana, then you are going to love this soup.  I made a BIG pot of it the other day and by the end of dinner, there was only about a spoonful of it left at the bottom of the pot.  Thank heaven there were only four of us for dinner that night.
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I got this recipe a year or two ago from Robbie’s  Recipes.  She has some copycat recipes on her website as well as other recipes.  I hadn’t visited her website since I got the Zuppa Toscana, but today I took a look and I can see that there are a number of recipes on that site that could keep me busy in the kitchen for a while.
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You know, if I stopped looking at recipes right now and started cooking all of the ones that I have in my grubby little paws, I would not be able to finish them all before I die.  Seriously.  I wonder how many man hours it would take to complete all of that cooking?  It’s staggering to contemplate!


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Zuppa Toscana


Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 40 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour

Spicy Italian sausage, bacon, potatoes and kale come together in this hearty soup. Easy and very flavorful, you’ll love it equally as much Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana, if not more!

Adapted from Robbie’s Recipes 


Ingredients

  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage
  • 1/2 pound bacon, chopped
  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • 2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed clean and cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high heat, brown sausage, breaking into small pieces. Drain, set aside.
  2. In the same Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high heat, brown bacon; remove and set aside to drain on paper towels. Leave two tablespoons of rendered bacon fat in the skillet.
  3. Sauté the potatoes, onion and garlic in the rendered bacon fat over medium or medium low heat. Sauté until the onion begins to be translucent and the potatoes are still a little firm, but are beginning to soften.
  4. Add the sausage, bacon, 7 cups water, and 3 chicken bouillon cubes to the pot. Simmer until the potatoes are tender.
  5. Stir in kale and cream. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat until warm throughout.

 Notes

  • Sautéing the potatoes, onion and garlic in the rendered bacon fat adds depth of flavor to the soup.
  • The chicken stock can be replaced by 7 cups of water and 5 bouillon cubes.

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Zuppa Toscana
This is kale. It is a cool weather leafy green vegetable in the collard and mustard green family. You see it a lot used as a base at salad bars; it makes the bowls or containers of vegetables look pretty. Southern people eat a lot of kale. Not as much as collard greens, but baby we like it. Cook it with a little bacon drippings or “fat back” and you have yourself a very fine side dish.
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Zuppa Toscana  Zuppa Toscana
Cook the sausage and bacon, separately. Then, set them aside. Save about 2 tablespoons of the rendered bacon fat. You will need this for sauteing the potatoes, onions, and garlic.
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Zuppa Toscana  Zuppa Toscana
While the sausage and bacon are cooking, you can prep the vegetables. Leave the peelings on the potatoes.
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Zuppa Toscana
After you remove the bacon from your pot, add the UNPEELED, diced potatoes, onions, and garlic. You can also sprinkle everything with salt at this point. Use a light hand on the salt because the chicken bouillon will add salt as well. Cook the vegetables until the onions start to get translucent and the potatoes have softened a little.
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Zuppa Toscana
Add the water, bouillon cubes, sausage, and bacon to the vegetables and give them a stir. Bring everything to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are done. You can test them for doneness by piercing them with a fork.
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Stir in the kale and the cream. Heat through over medium heat.
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Zuppa Toscana
Mmmhmmm. This is VERY good. As a matter of fact, my copy of the recipe has my “Excellent” written across the top.

You may also like:

Navy Bean and Collard Soup
Navy Bean and Collard Soup
Easy Mexican Chicken Soup
Easy Mexican Chicken Soup
Cheesy Cream of Broccoli Soup
Cheesy Cream of Broccoli Soup

Comments

  1. says

    I make this soup, too, in the fall and winter. It is one of my favorites. The only difference is that I have never used bacon, only sausage–but I will definitely try that next time. I also add in some red pepper flakes (the packets you get from take-out pizza)to add a kick. I have also used half-half instead of heavy cream.

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