Zuppa Toscana – An Olive Garden Copycat Recipe for Authentic Italian Flavor
Zuppa Toscana is a beloved Italian-inspired soup, and you don’t have to wait for your next visit to Olive Garden to enjoy it. With this copycat recipe, you can recreate the rich, savory, and comforting flavors of Zuppa Toscana in your own kitchen. This hearty soup combines spicy Italian sausage, tender potatoes, and fresh kale in a creamy broth, making it the perfect dish to warm your soul on a chilly day. Let’s dive into the world of Italian cuisine and cook up a delicious pot of Zuppa Toscana.
For the Soup:
- 1 pound Italian sausage (spicy or mild), casings removed
- 4-5 slices of bacon, chopped
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 3-4 large russet potatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch fresh kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Red pepper flakes (optional, for extra heat)
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Freshly chopped parsley
Cooking the Sausage and Bacon:
- In a large soup pot, cook the Italian sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it into small pieces as it browns. Once cooked, remove the sausage from the pot and set it aside.
- In the same pot, add the chopped bacon and cook until it becomes crispy. Remove the bacon, leaving the drippings in the pot.
Sautéing Onions and Garlic: 3. Add the finely chopped onions to the bacon drippings in the pot. Sauté over medium heat until the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the minced garlic and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes, allowing the garlic to become fragrant.
Bringing It All Together: 5. Return the cooked Italian sausage to the pot with the onions and garlic.
- Pour in the chicken broth and water, and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add the thinly sliced potatoes to the pot and cook until they become tender, which typically takes about 15-20 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low and stir in the chopped kale.
- Pour in the heavy cream, allowing the soup to heat through without boiling.
- Season the Zuppa Toscana with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes if you desire extra heat.
Serve and Garnish: 11. Ladle the Zuppa Toscana into bowls and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese, crispy bacon pieces, and freshly chopped parsley.
- If you prefer a lighter version of Zuppa Toscana, you can use half-and-half or whole milk instead of heavy cream.
- Feel free to adjust the level of spiciness by using either mild or spicy Italian sausage and adding more or fewer red pepper flakes.
- Serve your Zuppa Toscana with a side of warm, crusty Italian bread for a truly authentic experience.
Zuppa Toscana is a comforting soup that brings the rustic flavors of Tuscany to your table. With a creamy broth, tender potatoes, hearty Italian sausage, and fresh kale, it’s a flavorful and satisfying dish that’s perfect for any time of the year. Enjoy the rich taste of Italy without leaving your home. Buon appetito! 🍲🥖🇮🇹