Zuppa Toscana – Olive Garden Copycat: Hearty Italian Comfort
Bring the Italian Kitchen to Your Home
Craving the cozy comfort of a hearty Italian soup? Look no further than this Zuppa Toscana recipe, a copycat version of the beloved Olive Garden classic. Packed with Italian sausage, tender potatoes, kale, and a creamy broth, this soup is a delightful blend of flavors and textures that will transport your taste buds to the heart of Tuscany. So, roll up your sleeves, put on your apron, and let’s cook up a pot of delicious Zuppa Toscana!
- 1 pound Italian sausage (mild or spicy, depending on your preference)
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
- 2 cups kale, stems removed and chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
1. Brown the Italian Sausage:
- In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, brown the Italian sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it into crumbles as it cooks. Once browned, remove any excess fat.
2. Sauté Onion and Garlic:
- Add the diced onion to the pot with the cooked sausage. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes until the onions become translucent. Add the minced garlic and sauté for an additional minute until fragrant.
3. Add Broth and Water:
- Pour in the chicken broth and water. Stir to combine, scraping up any flavorful bits from the bottom of the pot.
4. Add Sliced Potatoes:
- Add the thinly sliced potatoes to the pot. Season with salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir well.
- Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
6. Add Kale and Cream:
- Stir in the chopped kale and heavy cream. Allow the soup to simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the kale is wilted and the soup is heated through.
- Ladle the Zuppa Toscana into bowls and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.
- Serve your homemade Zuppa Toscana hot and enjoy the comforting flavors of this Italian classic!
Tips and Variations:
Customizing Your Zuppa Toscana
- For a lighter version of this soup, you can use turkey sausage or turkey Italian sausage instead of pork sausage.
- Adjust the level of spiciness to your liking by choosing mild or spicy Italian sausage and varying the amount of crushed red pepper flakes.
- Add a handful of chopped bacon for extra smokiness and flavor.
- Swap the kale for spinach or Swiss chard if you prefer a different leafy green.
- Serve your Zuppa Toscana with a side of crusty Italian bread or garlic bread for a complete Italian-inspired meal.
- Leftover Zuppa Toscana can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat it on the stovetop over low heat, adding a splash of broth or water to maintain the desired consistency.
- Zuppa Toscana is a versatile soup that can be adapted to suit your preferences. Experiment with different greens, seasonings, or even add some diced tomatoes for a unique twist.
- If you’re looking for a way to reduce the fat content in this recipe, you can use turkey or chicken Italian sausage instead of pork sausage. These options are leaner but still provide great flavor.
- If you like your soup extra creamy, you can increase the amount of heavy cream to suit your taste. Just keep in mind that it will make the soup richer and more indulgent.
- To make this Zuppa Toscana even heartier, consider adding some cooked and crumbled bacon on top as a garnish. It adds a smoky crunch that pairs wonderfully with the creamy soup.
- Don’t forget the Parmesan cheese! It’s the finishing touch that adds a salty, savory element to the soup. Feel free to sprinkle on as much as you like.
- This Zuppa Toscana is perfect for a cozy family dinner, a gathering with friends, or even as a comforting meal when you want to enjoy the flavors of Tuscany in the comfort of your own home.
- Buon appetito! Enjoy your homemade Zuppa Toscana, and savor the delicious taste of Italy in every spoonful.