Two Peas and Their Pod

Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe

Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe

We don’t eat out very often. When we do, we usually support local restaurants. We have our favorites and sometimes it is nice to let someone else do the cooking:)  I don’t like chain restaurants or fast food-sometimes I wonder if they even serve real food:)   So when we were eating at our friends house the other night and they told us we were having the “Olive Garden’s soup”, I had no clue what they were talking about:) Sure, I have been to the Olive Garden, but it has been many, many years.

Our friend created a copycat recipe of the Olive Garden’s “famous” Zuppa Toscana soup. I didn’t try it because of the meat, but Josh loved it. It was right up his alley-spicy Italian sausage, bacon, cream, and kale. At least he got his greens in:) He ended up having two bowls-I gave him my share…ha! And don’t worry, our friends made sure I had a veggie option-they are too nice:)

Josh was craving the soup the other night-I was scared he was going to drag me to the Olive Garden, but instead he wanted to make it. Whew! :) Josh bought all of the ingredients and made a big pot of Zuppa Toscana at home. He was pleased with his soup-he said it really hit the spot!

Josh highly recommends eating this soup with good, crusty bread. He likes to dunk the bread in the soup. He loves the robust flavors and big meat chunks.

If you love the Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana soup, try making it at home. I am sure it’s even better than the real deal!

*And if you love the Olive Garden-I am glad, it is just not my “cup of tea.” :) No hard feelings..ha!

Zuppa Toscana Soup

Yield: Serves 8


1 pound Italian sausage
1 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large white onion, diced
4 slices bacon chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups chicken broth
2 cups Water
1 cup Heavy cream
3 large Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 cups Kale, washed and roughly chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste


1. In a medium skillet, saute the Italian sausage with the red pepper flakes. Drain excess fat, set aside.

2. In a large soup pot, saute the bacon. When the bacon is half way cooked, add the onions and garlic. Saute until the onions are tender-about 5 minutes.

3. Add the chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil.

4. Add the potatoes and cook until soft, about 30 minutes.

5. Add in the heavy cream and sausage and cook until the soup is heated.

6. Stir in the chopped kale. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

If you like this soup, you might also like:

Tortellini Vegetable Soup from Two Peas and Their Pod
Lentil Stew with Sausage from Simply Recipes
Italian Saussage and Bean Soup with Chard from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Wild Rice, Mushroom, and Sausage Soup from Recipe Girl

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111 Responses to “Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe”

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  1. Peter — March 10, 2010 @ 4:10 am

    Maria, that soup does look like liquid comfort. I don’t eat out as often as I used to but when I do, I sometimes find inspiration as you have done here.

  2. Rosa — March 10, 2010 @ 4:36 am

    A very flavorful and satisfying soup!



  3. Blond Duck — March 10, 2010 @ 4:44 am

    Ben loves the Olive Garden! I’ll have to show him this!

  4. Amanda — March 10, 2010 @ 5:23 am

    It looks fabulous Maria! I’m not a huge fan of OG either, but I do love their soup, salad and breadsticks :) Mmmmmm

    I am reaching out to my fellow foodies today to see if they on my Food Bloggers Discussion List. If you are not we would love to have you! I seem to recall talking to you about it before, but honestly I can’t remember for sure :-/ Email me amanda AT

  5. Erica — March 10, 2010 @ 5:33 am

    I’m so with you! I am much more of a local restaurant kind of gal! I bet my Josh would love this soup too. Looks like a very manly soup 😉 Hope you’re doing well.

  6. I haven’t been to Olive Garden in a while but I think this was what a had last time I was there. It is a yummy soup and as far as chains go, their soup and salad is hard to beat when in a hurry. This looks good. Glad to know it’s here for trying on our next soup night.

  7. Manggy — March 10, 2010 @ 5:49 am

    I haven’t been to Olive Garden that many times (kind of obviously – we don’t have it here in Manila), but I like that they have some truly healthy options on the menu.
    This looks really good (and all the meat sounds nice too), I hope you were able to sequester a certain portion without meat for yourself..

  8. Meeta — March 10, 2010 @ 6:24 am

    what a comforting sounding soup maria. especially like the kale in there. i have a recipe with kale up at the moment – one of my fave leafy greens!

  9. Jessica @ How Sweet — March 10, 2010 @ 6:31 am

    That looks so incredible!! Love the bacon in it!

  10. Jessie — March 10, 2010 @ 6:45 am

    First off I love your blog. Thanks for sharing all your wonderful recipes. My husband loves this soup as well and I have the same exact copy cat recipe and have been using it for years. We love it!!!

  11. megan — March 10, 2010 @ 6:47 am

    I love Olive Garden. I love to go there for lunch and order soup and salad. I definitely want to try this – new soup recipes are so much fun. What I really want, though, is a copycat recipe for their chicken gnocchi soup…that stuff is incredible! If your friend has a recipe for that, please pass it along :)

  12. Tracy — March 10, 2010 @ 7:06 am

    Looks just like the real thing; thanks for sharing the recipe! And if they come up with one for the chicken gnocchi soup too, I’ll be right here. 😉

  13. kat — March 10, 2010 @ 7:07 am

    I wouldn’t have known what Olive Garden soup was either, like you we try to go to more local restaurants. That soup though does sound awesome

  14. Teanna — March 10, 2010 @ 7:19 am

    I love taking dishes from restaurants and recreating them at home! This soup sounds fantastic – and I’m sure it’s much better made in your kitchen than at the Olive Garden!

  15. dawn — March 10, 2010 @ 7:40 am

    never been to olive garden, but this sounds so good!

  16. Amanda — March 10, 2010 @ 8:12 am

    I make a great vegetarian version of this soup. I sub the sausage for the gimme lean soy sausage (don’t know if you eat that or not). I also sub the bacon for a little smoke flavoring (I don’t like the texture of the veggie bacon). Now you can make it for yourself, and my meat loving husband loves it too! I also add marjoram as a seasoning for the soup, it adds just the right flavor. Thanks for the great blog!

  17. Tiffany — March 10, 2010 @ 8:27 am

    Excellent re-creation! It looks lovely… Marty is so not a soup fan but I think I could coax him into this one :)

  18. sherry — March 10, 2010 @ 8:27 am

    I love this soup I have tried others versions I can’t wait to try this one so excited. My husband and I always go for soup and salad lately just for this soup yummy!!!

  19. SLCFoodie — March 10, 2010 @ 8:30 am

    I just made this the other day, minus the bacon. I will have to add bacon next time I’m sure it makes it just that much better (for the meat eaters of course :))

  20. Elle — March 10, 2010 @ 8:37 am

    Looks wonderful! Nice job, Josh.

    And it has the Olive Garden signature cream in it, hehe! I always get so mad at their commercials–every sauce is a cream sauce! Or the meat is stuffed with cheese. Or the cheese ravioli or cheese stuffed meat is drowned in a cream sauce and covered with more cheese. “Let’s make cheese, cover it in cream sauce, and top it with more cheese!” Hahaha!

  21. Kalynskitchen — March 10, 2010 @ 8:46 am

    It definitely sounds like it would taste good!

  22. Sylvia — March 10, 2010 @ 8:58 am

    I love Italian dishes. This soup looks very comforting. Delicious

  23. carrian — March 10, 2010 @ 9:10 am

    looks like we are both doing soups!! looks yummy

  24. diabeticFoodie — March 10, 2010 @ 9:21 am

    Sounds wonderful! I’d probably substitute turkey or chicken Italian sausage for the pork, turkey bacon for the bacon and fat-free half and half for the heavy cream to make it a bit more diabetic-friendly. I know – I’m a party pooper :)

  25. Cookin' Canuck — March 10, 2010 @ 9:46 am

    This sounds great, Maria (and Josh)! A very hearty and comforting soup.

  26. Lori — March 10, 2010 @ 9:57 am

    So glad you shared this recipe! We don’t eat out at chain restaurants anymore for the same reasons as you, but when I used to, I loved Olive Garden and always ordered this soup. Happy to be able to make it at home now.

  27. Emily — March 10, 2010 @ 10:08 am

    This is my absolute FAVORITE soup at Olive Garden. Not a huge fan of the place but I do love this soup paired with their yummy breadsticks. Can’t wait to try it at home!

  28. Sara — March 10, 2010 @ 10:15 am

    I love this soup at Olive Garden! Looks great, thanks for sharing.

  29. Bridgett — March 10, 2010 @ 10:50 am

    It has been years since I have gone to the Olive Garden but I should make this for my parents. My Dad would probably love this soup as it sounds delicious. I think I would make the veggie version though for myself as well.

  30. grace — March 10, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

    i love the soup, maria, but i love the little bowl even more! :)

  31. Shannon — March 10, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

    i used to love that place, but now i try to avoid chains if possible 😉

  32. Bugaboo — March 10, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

    How uncanny that I’m blogging about this same soup today! My recipe is similar but not identical; the version I’ve had and love at the Olive Garden doesn’t have bacon, so mine doesn’t either. I’m glad to hear that Josh loves it and made himself some — it’s delish! :o)

  33. Soma — March 10, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

    A bowlful of comfort.

  34. Tiffiny Felix — March 10, 2010 @ 4:07 pm

    I have a recipe just like this that I got from a friend…it is *so* good :)

  35. This looks like the perfect soup for a chilly night! I would much rather yours than the Olive Garden’s any day :) This would be great after a big day of winter sports! Hearty and satisfying.

  36. Lori — March 10, 2010 @ 4:24 pm

    I absolutely love this soup. It looks really good Maria!

  37. sugarlens — March 10, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

    I love zuppa toscana and used to go to Olive Garden just for it. Ever since I figured out how to make it at home, I never go to the restaurant anymore. I agree with Josh – it’s hearty and really hits the spot on cold winter days.

  38. Lori @ RecipeGirl — March 10, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever been to Olive Garden before. The whole chain-restaurant thing just never appeals to me! The soup looks wonderful though!

  39. Joanne — March 10, 2010 @ 5:18 pm

    I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of the Olive Garden (if I’m gonna eat out, I’d prefer it not to be at a chain). but this soup looks too good to pass up. So creamy and delicious!

  40. Laurie — March 10, 2010 @ 6:39 pm

    I love this kind of soup, it sounds wonderful!

    • twopeas replied: — March 10th, 2010 @ 7:28 pm

      We don’t eat at chain restaurants either, but learned about this soup from a friend. Josh likes it:)

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