zuppa toscana (sausage & potato soup)

Once, years ago, I ordered a bowl of Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan Soup) at Olive Garden.  It’s been a while, but I do remember thinking that I had to find a similar recipe.  The soup was so rich and tasty!  Well, apparently I got distracted with other things (stuff like getting married, having kids, the usual…) and I never got around to making the dish at home.

Until last week — when trying to come up with something for dinner, I realized I had all the basic ingredients for that yummy soup: ground pork, bacon, potatoes, kale, and heavy cream.  We had zuppa Toscana for dinner that night. 🙂


1 lb. Italian sausage (or ground pork seasoned this way)

1 small onion, chopped

2 slices bacon, diced

1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder)

4 c. chicken broth (homemade is best!)

2 potatoes, cubed

2-3 c. fresh kale, torn into small strips

1/2 c. heavy cream*

Remove sausage from casing and crumble into a large skillet; cook over medium heat until browned.  (I used ground pork seasoned according to the recipe link above.)  Set aside.

In large saucepan over medium heat, saute onions and diced bacon until bacon is browned, 10-15 minutes.  Add garlic and saute for another minute. 

Add chicken broth and potatoes; simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Stir in kale, cream, and reserved sausage; simmer 5 more minutes or until kale is slightly wilted.  Serve and enjoy!

*Depending on prices and sales, I usually buy either organic heavy cream OR non-organic, rBST-free cream that is ‘pasteurized,’ NOT ‘ultra-pasteurized.’  Sinton’s rBST-free heavy cream is one of the few ‘pasteurized’ brands I’ve found. 

A lower level of pasteurization means that the cream retains more of its original protein structure as well as its good bacteria and enzymes (and cream that is pasteurized at a lower level simply tastes better than its “ultra” counterpart!)  If I could get my hands on some raw cream, we’d definitely be using that instead!


Hope you enjoy!


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6 Responses to zuppa toscana (sausage & potato soup)

  1. Beth says:

    Oh, I love that soup!! Yummm!!!

  2. laura says:

    Sooooo…I have everything but the kale and it is an icy day….could I possibly sub it out for spinach???? (or do you I just have to wait!?!?) What do you think?
    (thanks for sharing your knowledge of cream – i learned something!)

    • Abby says:

      I say go for it! The texture of spinach is obviously different than kale, but I think the spinach would be fine. It will probably only take a minute or two to cook, not as long as the kale. Let me know how it turns out!

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  4. CharlesLisy says:

    As a former Olive Garden employee who has the taste of Zuppa Toscana burned in my tastebuds, I can truly say that my soup tonight came out as a PERFECT match.

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