The Zuppa Toscana Soup with Kale is a quality, delicious, copycat recipe of the Olive Garden recipe. This awesome recipe is meaty, hearty, chock full of flavor, and the perfect comfort food for a cold day. Get a restaurant-quality taste for a fraction of the price with this filling homemade version of the Olive Garden Soup.
When was the last time you ordered some Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana soup? For me, well, it’s too recent to admit. A generous helping of meat, dark leafy greens, potatoes, and a creaminess that I’m always craving in a soup. It has everything I love and is my favorite soup.
Well, here’s a wonderful way to bring Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana soup with kale to your table. The list of ingredients for this recipe can be easily found at the grocery store.
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What is Zuppa Toscana?
“Toscana” refers to the Tuscany region of Italy and “Zuppa” means soup in Italian. Therefore, “Zuppa Toscana” translates to “Tuscan soup” or “Tuscan-style soup.” This traditional soup is made with kale, garlic, potatoes, olive oil, and spices. The American version though adds Italian sausage, bacon, and heavy cream to the potatoes and kale.
Is this recreated Zuppa Tuscana Soup the real deal?
I know what you’re thinking.
“Copycat olive garden zuppa toscana?”
“It can’t beat the original version from the restaurant.”
“They’re in the restaurant business for a reason. They have the best Tuscan soup.”
“The restaurant version will always be better.”
Hear me out. This tastes just as good, if not better than the original recipe. I’m not kidding. The best part? You get to tailor it to your exact preferences!
Did you always want just a tad bit more meat in the soup at the local Olive Garden restaurant? Feel free to add more! Wanting a bit less salt? Add exactly how much you’d like. I personally like my soup with lots of kale. So I add 2 heaping cups of it which is a healthier take on the soup.
The simple copycat recipe with rich, creamy flavor starts with sausage, onion, and garlic coming together for a beautiful medley. In goes the chicken broth, water, and seasoning. Add in the potatoes, and let cook. Then you mix in your cream, cooked bacon, and kale to make a delicious soup.
You would never have guessed a delicious bowl of homemade Zuppa Toscana soup recipe was this easy to make! Well, it is.
Try making it at home, you won’t be disappointed. It’s an easy recipe that will quickly become a family favorite and a staple weeknight dinner.
Key Ingredients for the Creamy Zuppa Toscana Recipe
- Italian sausage: Use mild Italian sausage or sweet Italian sausage. Ground sausage meat is good too, just add a teaspoon of dried Italian herb seasoning.
- Onion: For enhanced flavor and an aromatic base.
- Garlic: Garlic gives the soup an incredible and authentic Italian flavor.
- Bacon: Use thick-cut, good-quality bacon for the best results.
- Potatoes: Use Yukon Gold potatoes or large russet potatoes for the best tender potatoes. They will be thinly sliced and you don’t have to peel them.
- Chicken broth: Use store-bought or homemade chicken broth.
- Water: Helps you get the right consistency for the soup.
- Half & half/cream: Added just before serving to give the recipe its rich and ultra-creamy broth.
- Fresh kale: Hearty kale for a burst of freshness
- Salt & black pepper: To balance the dish and enhance the flavors.
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
How to make the Homemade Version of Zuppa Toscana Soup with Kale
Step 1: Sauté bacon
- Heat a large pot, pan, or large soup pot on medium-high heat on a stovetop. Add thinly sliced bacon and saute with a wooden spoon for about 10 minutes or until browned and crispy.
2: Set crispy bacon aside
- Line a plate with a paper towel then transfer crispy bacon into the plate, and set aside.
3: Saute sausages and vegetables
- Remove the casing from the sausages. In the same pan sauté sausages, diced onion, and minced garlic for about 10-15 minutes or until the cooked sausage is browned and the cooked onion is soft.
4: Add liquids
- Add the chicken broth and water to the pot and bring to a boil. Season your soup with salt and pepper, then add sliced potatoes and cook on medium heat for about 20-25 minutes or until fork tender.
5: Add cream
- Add cream and cook until heated through.
6: Stir in bacon and fresh kale
- Stir in the bacon and the kale and bring to a light boil on a gentle heat.
7: Finish off, garnish and serve
- Once done, remove from heat and garnish with Parmesan cheese (optional) then serve!
How to store leftover
- Let the soup cool to room temperature and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy the soup the next day or within 3-4 days It can separate a bit when reheating, though, so reheat at a low temperature and stir it well.
- You can freeze the soup in freezer-safe containers but for 2 weeks or less not months. That’s because the kale will brown, the potatoes will be mushy and dairy separates when frozen.
- To make the kale less bitter, soak it in ice water and cut it before washing.
- Tools to use: The best way to slice bacon is with a pair of kitchen scissors, break the sausages with a potato masher, and use a mandoline for slicing the potatoes so that they’re the same size.
- If you have too much grease in your soup because of the Italian sausage or bacon grease let the soup cool for 5-10 minutes, then gently skim off the grease layer.
- Taste your soup a couple of times while cooking to make sure you like it. If the consistency is too thick, add extra broth or water.
- If you would like to thicken your soup, whisk together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of liquid (broth, water, milk) and then whisk into the soup or mash some potatoes into the soup.
Beef or Turkey sausage and turkey bacon are great options if you’re looking for a pork substitute. Feel free to make this soup with spicy Italian sausage to give it a spicy kick.
You can also use spinach instead of kale if you prefer and substitute cream with milk for a lighter version of the soup.
Kale, potatoes, onions, and garlic are all healthy and filled with essential vitamins but some substitutions will make this Keto-friendly. You can substitute potatoes with cauliflower florets, substitute the heavy whipping cream for 1 can of full-fat unsweetened coconut milk, and use leaner Italian meat sausage, like chicken or turkey.
This homemade version of the Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana soup is a complete meal in itself. However, you can serve it with crusty bread, dinner rolls, crescent rolls, crusty baguette,
Enjoy these other great soup recipes as well:
The Hearty Turkey Soup with Potatoes and Pickles make for a filling, cozy, and perfect comfort food for chilly days.
The Simple One Pot Hearty Soup with Beef or Lamb is delicious, nutritious, and hearty.
More Tasty Soup Recipes to Make this Season
If you tried this Easy Homemade Zuppa Toscana Soup with Kale or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you enjoyed it in the📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!
Easy Homemade Zuppa Toscana Soup with Kale
- 1 lb ground Italian sausage
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 oz bacon, sliced
- 3 large potatoes, chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups half & half or cream, you can substitue with milk for a lighter version
- 2 cups kale, chopped
- salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- Heat a large skillet or a shallow pan on medium-high heat.
Add thinly sliced bacon (I find it easier to slice bacon with a pair of kitchen scissors) and cook for about 10 minutes or until crispy. Line a plate with a paper towel, transfer bacon into the plate, and set aside.12 oz bacon,
Remove casing from the sausages. In the same pan sauté sausages, onion, and garlic for about 12-15 minutes or until the sausages are browned and the onion is soft. (I break the sausages with a potato masher.)1 lb ground Italian sausage, 1 onion,, 2 cloves garlic,
Add the chicken broth, water, and bring to boil. Season your soup with salt and pepper, then add sliced potatoes (you don’t have to peel them) and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until tender.4 cups chicken broth, 4 cups water, salt,, black pepper,, 3 large potatoes,
Add cream and cook until heated through.2 cups half & half or cream,
Stir in the bacon and the kale12 oz bacon,, 2 cups kale,
- Bring to a boil and serve!
- Italian sausage can be substituted to turkey or chicken.
- Broth can be chicken broth, beef broth or vegetable broth.