Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe

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Copycat Zuppa Toscana soup recipe – as good as Olive Garden’s with spicy Italian sausage, bacon, cream, and kale. Pair with crusty bread and it’s a hearty meal!

Zuppa Toscana Soup with Bacon Chunks in Soup Bowl

Zuppa Toscana and Me

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 Tuscana 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:)

Zuppa Toscana with Crusty Bread in Soup Bowl

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana at Home

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 Tuscana at home. He was pleased with his soup-he said it really hit the spot!

Josh highly recommends eating Zuppa Toscana 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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 1. In a medium skillet, saute the Italian sausage with the red pepper flakes. Drain excess fat, set aside.
  2. 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. 3. Add the chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil.
  4. 4. Add the potatoes and cook until soft, about 30 minutes.
  5. 5. Add in the heavy cream and sausage and cook until the soup is heated.
  6. 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

Maria

I’m Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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CommentsLeave a reply

  1. 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. 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 amandascookin.com

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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..

  6. 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!

  7. 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!!!

  8. 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 🙂

  9. 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. 😉

  10. 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

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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!!!

  14. 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 :))

  15. 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!

  16. 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 🙂

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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)

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

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

  23. Heading out tomorrow to buy ingredients for this delicious looking soup! Am going to make a batch for my Dad since he’s always telllig me he “needs to eat more greens” Looks super yummy! I’m sure it will be a hit. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Oh, this looks so good! We used to have the Olive Garden here in Toronto but sadly they all closed. When we cross the boarder we usually try to make a stop. I’m going to make this for my hubby, who was very saddened by the chain’s Canadian demise.

  25. Sounds good, looks GREAT! I’ve already printed out the recipe though I’ll be swapping out the kale for spinach so I don’t have to swing by the grocery store. Thanks for passing along the recipe.
    ~ingrid

  26. That soup looks pretty tasty! I know what you mean about chain restaurants… We eat at them once in a while (since there aren’t a lot of other good options around here in the middle of nowhere), but definitely not my preference.

  27. That looks deeeeelightful. I’ve actually never been to the Olive Garden either, tho some friends swear by the soup and breadsticks? We make a similar White Bean Soup with Sausage and Kale, but bacon sounds like a wonderful addition… Will definitely have to try this!

  28. The soup looks great. I’m sure it’s way better than what they serve at the Olive Garden. The kale cancels out the bacon right? 😉

    Olive Garden isn’t my cup of tea either. I admit I’m judging on strictly superficial criteria. I’ve never actually eaten in one and I’m just judging it because it’s a chain. But here in the NY suburbs, we have one of the highest cocentrations of Italian Americans in the US, so good Italian restaurants abound. I think the closest Olive Garden to my home is in NYC and mostly caters to tourists.

  29. This is precisely the sort of hearty soup that would completely hit the spot on a day like today. It’s rainy and pea-soupy out — so something warming and nourishing, with all the good stuff (i.e. kale) would be just right.

  30. Hi, Maria! I just wanted to let you know that I made your soup this evening for dinner and all of us loved it. As I mentioned I didn’t use kale. It rained hard all day (we had severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings) and I didn’t want to have to stop at the grocery store for some. Next time I’ll give the kale a try. Thanks for passing along another yummy recipe.
    ~ingrid

    1. Ingrid-I am glad you enjoyed the soup. Thanks for letting us know. I am sure the spinach was great in it!

  31. Hey Guys, I made this soup for my Dad and he totally LOVES it. He asked me the name of it and when I told him, he said we needed to change it to “Damn Good Soup!” LOL He’s really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing as always.
    Take care,
    Julie

  32. Olive Garden isn’t something I crave…but the last few times I’ve been there (probably twice in 2 years!) I was actually surprised at the quality of the food, it was really good! I have tried this soup once or twice years ago and I remember enjoying it! I’d love it without the cream… 🙂

  33. I saw the “olive garden” in your post and thought OH NO. I’m so with you on chain restaurants,etc. This soup looks good, but really a bit heavy on the cream for my taste. If you notice those olive garden commercials, the food is so heavy and doesn’t look Italian to me. Now having said that, my husband dies for the sausage lentil from Carrabba’s and sometimes we get it as take out. (I need to make that from scratch, don’t I).

    1. Angela-yeah, we never eat at the Olive Garden or chain restaurants. I just can’t do it. So I am glad Josh can make this at home:)

  34. Thank you for the recipe. : ) I’m not a snob about Olive Garden restaurants, but I’ve never tried this soup there. I’ll try making it with turkey Italian sausage and no bacon…

  35. I just finished eating my second bowl, you hit the nail on the head with this recipe. The nearest Olive Garden is about two hours away from my home. I always order this soup when I get a chance to go. Now that I can make it at home, I can satisfy my cravings more often. Thanks you did a good job!

  36. Made this soup last night – used turkey kielbasa instead of sausage – and it was SLAMMIN’!!!! Made your drop biscuits to go with – with cheddar cheese and scallions – and let me tell you, it was better than going out to eat!

  37. Made this for my book club today and it was SPOT ON perfect!! This soup is the reason I ever go to Olive Garden. It was exactly the same. My daughter even thought it was better. Family loved it. Book Clubbies loved it. Dreamy. Thanks!!

  38. I had this soup last year at Olive Garden and have been looking for the recipe when I just found yours through stumbleupon! This recipe is fantastic! I made it with kielbasa and some extra potatoes and it is DELICIOUS! My parents loved it and want me to keep this recipe and it’s perfect for the rainy cold days we have had thanks again so much and I am bookmarking your site for the future!

  39. This looks fantastical! 😀 Just wondering though….if I can’t find KALE here in this itty-bitty town of mine, what can I use as a substitute? I don’t think spinach is as hearty as KALE, but I”ll use it as a last alternative if I need to. Anyway, could you please give me a few suggestions? I really want to try this! Thanks! 🙂

  40. If you’d like to try a REAL tuscan soup (and it’s vegetable one, no sausage, they don’t do that in tuscany. Trust me, I lived there for 5 loooong years) google ribollita. Absolutely fabulous!

  41. It’s kind of funny seeing the title written the way it is because two words are repeated.

    “Zuppa Toscana Soup”:

    ‘Zuppa Toscana’ is Italian for “Tuscany Soup” and then you added on the word “Soup” so it reads “Tuscany Soup Soup.” It would have been better if you just left it at “Zuppa Toscana.”

  42. I just made a big pot of this soup! It came out excellent… my husband likes it even more than I do. We like to shake a ton of pepper on top before eating it and that makes this soup taste even better.

  43. Just made your soup, it was fantastic! thank you for the recipe =) just a warning to others – stay away from rainbow chard as a substitute for the kale… we ended up with strawberry milk-colored soup!

  44. Yesterday was our first chilly day in Texas this fall. Soup sounded like the perfect Sunday night dinner. I made this last night…it was soooooo good and flavorful!! Even my kids gobbled it up! Plenty for leftovers tonight! Surely, one of our favorites!! Mmmm, if you are a soupie like me, you MUST try this recipe. Definitely restaurant quality!

  45. I made this for dinner last night and I must say it got a big thumbs up from everyone. I used Italian chicken sausage (I had some in the freezer). It was my first time cooking with kale and it was very easy to prepare and use. I will be looking from some other recipes with kale. We also had the Mexican rice bowls this week. Thanks for two great recipes.

  46. I wonder how the kale would keep in a soup like this. Would I need to keep it separate until I am ready to reheat it or just leave it in there. Just seems like it would eventually get soggy like spinach does.

  47. I love this soup I omit the chicken and use beef base and sprinkle pepper bacon crumle on top with a pich of shredded parmasesan

  48. I’ve made your version several times – it’s soooo much better than even the original. I also Love that I can make it spicier or add spinach instead of kale if that’s what I have…. And it’s even better the next day or two!!

  49. I made this soup before I ever had it at Olive Garden. Then I went to Olive Garden and had it there. I have to say that this version is so much better!

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