This soup is everyone's favorite soup. I cannot serve it to anyone without being begged for the recipe. It's your favorite Olive Garden Copycat recipe for Zuppa Toscana! This is a slightly smaller batch, made in a small dutch oven to make 3-4 bowls of soup.
I'm thinking of changing my blog name to 'Notes from a Recovering Vegetarian.' I feel like I've missed out on so much by avoiding meat for almost a decade.
Today, even though I do eat a small amount of meat on occasion, I hardly ever combine more than one meat in a recipe. It feels weird enough eating one animal, but two? (Except for this Beef Bourguignon where the bacon coats the beef! Oh, and this Coq au Vin, too). Maybe I have a thing for bacon?
But, my mother-in-law insisted that the copycat Olive Garden recipes for Zuppa Toscana soup on Pinterest were amazing. So, I tried a few. I can't deny that I moaned upon first bite!
What is Zuppa Toscana?
What's not to love? It's a creamy potato soup bolstered by sausage. Don't forget the kale, because if something has kale, it's healthy and justifies the bacon, right?
I didn't think I was going to stir in the crisp bacon at the end, but I'm so glad I did!
Olive Garden Potato Soup Ingredients
- Bacon. Two slices of thick-cut bacon, chopped. I prefer a thick-slice black pepper crusted bacon.
- Onion. One small onion, finely diced is about 1 cup.
- Red Pepper Flakes. It’s entirely optional to add a pinch of red pepper flakes and bring some heat to this Zuppa Toscana.
- Sausage. We need half a pound of bulk Italian sausage. This can be from 2 links with the casing remove or from the bulk section. It’s your choice to use regular Italian or spicy Italian sausage.
- Chicken Broth. Just two cups of chicken broth or chicken stock to make the base of the soup.
- Potatoes. One large Russet potato, scrubbed clean and sliced in half to slice into half-moon shapes (see photo). You can leave the skin on the potato or remove it, your choice.
- Kale. One cup of tightly packed fresh kale, stems removed.
- Heavy Cream. You can use half a cup of heavy cream OR half and half for this recipe--both are delicious.
- Salt and Pepper.
Sausage Soup Olive Garden Recipe Tips and Variations
I've heard from some friends on instagram that the soup is still good without bacon. I've also heard that the Trader Joe's tofu sausage works well here. Someone even told me that coconut cream is good instead of regular cream of half and half here. This soup gives you so many options!
This soup should really be in your arsenal because it contains so few ingredients, and is so easy to pull together.
I love that it makes just two big bowls of soup, because leftover soup for days is one of my pet peeves. Even though I do love leftover soup for breakfast (I know, I'm weird), there are times when I don't want lots of leftovers.
I made this in a small 2-quart Le Creuset Dutch Oven, but a regular saucepan would work, since it's not a huge batch of soup.
If I haven't given you enough reasons, let me reiterate: potatoes, bacon, kale, and sausage. All in one bowl, got it?
How to make Zuppa Toscana
In a 2-quart Dutch oven or sauce pan, add the chopped bacon. Turn the heat to medium, and cook the bacon while occasionally stirring until it begins to crisp up around the edges. Remove the bacon from the pan, leaving the drippings behind.
Next, add the sausage, diced onion and red pepper flakes to the pan, and cook while breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon.
Once the sausage is beginning to brown around the edges and is mostly done, add the chicken broth, salt and potato slices. Cover the pan and bring it to a gentle simmer to cook the potatoes, for about 8-10 minutes.
Once the potatoes are tender, add the kale and cover the pan again for 3 minutes to cook the kale.
Turn off the heat and stir in the heavy cream. Taste the soup, and add freshly ground black pepper to taste and additional salt, if needed.
Ladle into bowls, top with the chopped bacon, and serve immediately.
What to serve with Olive Garden Sausage Soup with Potatoes
Storing Leftover Zuppa Toscana
Can Zuppa Toscana Olive Garden Soup be frozen?
Yes, this hearty soup freezes very well! To freeze, ladle into freezer-safe containers. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. To defrost, place in fridge overnight. Then, dump the container into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until steaming.
Best way to reheat leftover Zuppa Toscana
The best way to reheat soup is on the stove. Place it in a small saucepan, turn the heat to medium and stir frequently until steaming hot.
- 2 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 small onion, diced
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 Italian sausage links, removed from casing (or ½ pound bulk Italian sausage)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1 large Russet potato, cut in half and then sliced into ¼" half-moon shapes (see photo for reference)
- 1 cup (packed) chopped kale
- ½ cup heavy cream (or half & half)
- freshly ground black pepper
- In a 2-quart Dutch oven or sauce pan, add the chopped bacon. Turn the heat to medium, and cook the bacon while occasionally stirring until it begins to crisp up around the edges.
- Remove the bacon from the pan, leaving the drippings behind.
- Next, add the sausage, diced onion and red pepper flakes to the pan, and cook while breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon.
- Once the sausage is beginning to brown around the edges and is mostly done, add the chicken broth, salt and potato slices.
- Cover the pan and bring it to a gentle simmer to cook the potatoes, for about 8-10 minutes.
- Once the potatoes are tender, add the kale and cover the pan again for 3 minutes to cook the kale.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the heavy cream. Taste the soup, and add freshly ground black pepper to taste and additional salt.
- Ladle into two bowls, and top with the chopped bacon.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 354Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 1128mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 14g