Delicious Zuppa Toscana Soup – An Italian-American Soup

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Zuppa Toscana, a rustic Italian delight, bathes the palate in a comforting broth brimming with spicy Italian sausage, tender potatoes, and crisp kale. Swirls of heavy cream add a luxurious richness, while a bold garlic undertone and a hint of red pepper flakes ignite a warmth that radiates with each spoonful. This soup is a heartfelt ode to Tuscan culinary tradition, inviting and indulgent.

Anyone who has ever been to Olive Garden will know the name Zuppa Toscana soup! 

It’s a classic addition to the Olive Garden menu. Still, many would love to take this recipe home and make it themselves. So – can you make Zuppa Toscana soup at home? 

The answer is – of course! 

If you want to make your version of Zuppa Toscana soup, then check out the recipe below! 

What Is Zuppa Toscana Soup?

First, let’s learn a little bit more about Zuppa Toscana. 

Zuppa Toscana is a soup originating in Tuscany, Italy – its name even translates to ‘Tuscan soup’! In the US, it became popular thanks to its addition to the popular Italian restaurant Olive Garden’s menu.

The soup is rich and creamy, with plenty of vegetables, meat, seasoning, and cream to make a delicious filling meal.

Traditional Tuscan soup is made using potatoes (Also check out The Best Potato Leek Soup To Soothe The Soul), spicy Italian sausage, and vegetables – but Olive Garden has put its spin on this classic Italian dish

So, to learn how to make Zuppa Toscana Olive Garden style, follow the recipe below!

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?

The beauty of Toscana Soup is its flexibility to cater to various dietary needs:

  • Keto Replace the potatoes with low-carb alternatives like cauliflower or radishes. Opt for full-fat broth and sausage to increase the fat content.
  • Paleo Stick to high-quality organic Italian sausage and chicken broth. Skip the beans as they are not paleo-friendly.
  • Gluten-Free The traditional Toscana Soup is naturally gluten-free as it excludes wheat-based ingredients.
  • Whole30 Use Whole30-compliant sausage and chicken broth, and omit the beans to make it suitable for this diet.
  • Vegetarian Substitute Italian sausage with mushrooms or a plant-based sausage. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • Vegan Replace the sausage with a vegan protein source like chickpeas or lentils, and use vegetable broth. Replace the traditional Parmesan garnish with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.

Recipe Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C) and prepare for a culinary journey. 
  2. Place the delectable sausage links on a baking sheet, basking in the oven’s gentle heat for 25 minutes until they achieve a mouthwatering golden hue. 
  3. Once baked to perfection, slice the sausages into tantalizing 1/2-inch pieces. 
  4. In a large saucepan, embark on a fragrant adventure by heating the oil, then sautéing the onions until they become translucent and release their delightful aroma. 
  5. Add the garlic, infusing the air with its rich essence. 
  6. Pour in the savory broth, water, and tender potatoes, letting them simmer in a harmonious blend for 15 minutes, allowing the ingredients to meld together and create a symphony of taste. 
  7. As the aromatic concoction gently simmers, it’s time to reintroduce the sliced sausage links—alongside the vibrant Kale and creamy indulgence of cream. 
  8. Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for—serve the steaming hot creation in bowls, delighting in the enticing aroma that wafts through the air. 

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 


  • Swap Italian sausage with sautéed mushrooms or plant-based sausage for a vegetarian twist.
  • Transform it into a seafood delight with shrimp or clams.
  • For extra creaminess, add cannellini beans.
  • Swap Kale with other leafy greens such as spinach or Swiss chard.


  • Spice lovers can introduce heat with red pepper flakes or cayenne.
  • A spoonful of pesto can add a gourmet touch.
  • A splash of white wine adds depth and complexity.
  • Stir in fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme for added flavor.


  • A generous sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese enhances the rich flavor.
  • A drizzle of quality extra-virgin olive oil gives a glossy finish and additional depth.
  • Freshly ground black pepper adds a hint of spice.
  • Freshly chopped basil or parsley can provide a vibrant, refreshing contrast.

Can I Make Zuppa Toscana Soup In A Slow Cooker?

The Zuppa Toscana Soup recipe can be adapted for slow cooker and Instant Pot. Here’s how:

Slow Cooker

  • Cook and slice the sausage per the original recipe, then add it to the slow cooker.
  • Add onions, garlic, potatoes, broth, and water into the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours until the potatoes are tender.
  • Add the Kale and cream 30 minutes before serving, then cook on high until the Kale is wilted and the soup is heated through.

Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

Both store-bought and homemade broths can make Toscana Soup, each offering advantages.

Store-Bought Broth

  • This is a convenient option, particularly if you’re short on time. Opt for low-sodium versions to control the salt level in your soup. Organic and high-quality broths often have a more robust flavor. Read labels carefully to ensure there are no unwanted additives or allergens.

Homemade Broth

  • This gives you maximum control over your soup’s taste, consistency, and nutritional content. Homemade broth is often richer and deeper in flavor, and you can adjust the seasoning to your liking. It requires more time and planning, but if you make it in large batches, it can be frozen for future use.

How To Serve ?

Toscana Soup shines when served hot, straight from the stovetop. Here are a few suggestions to elevate your soup-serving experience:

  • Bread: A slice of crusty Italian bread or a warm baguette on the side is perfect for dipping into the creamy broth.
  • Salad: A fresh, crisp salad can provide a nice contrast to the hearty soup. Try a simple mixed greens salad or a tangy Caesar salad for a classic combination.
  • Toppings: Top the soup with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, or freshly ground black pepper to enhance the flavors.
  • Drink Pairing: A glass of white wine, like a Pinot Grigio or Vermentino, can complement the soup wonderfully. For a non-alcoholic option, try sparkling water with a slice of lemon.
  • Presentation: Serve in deep bowls to keep it warm for longer. Garnish with a fresh basil or parsley sprig for a pop of color and freshness.

Perfect Side Dishes

Zuppa Toscana Soup is a hearty and flavorful dish that pairs well with various side dishes. Here are some suggestions that would perfectly complement the soup:

  • Crusty Bread or Garlic Bread: The soup’s richness pairs well with crusty bread or garlic bread that can be used to sop up the flavorful broth.
  • Italian Salad: A simple salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, black olives, red onion, and an Italian vinaigrette can offer a refreshing contrast to the hearty soup.
  • Bruschetta: Toasted slices of bread topped with a mixture of tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil can be a tasty accompaniment.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Simple roasted vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, or eggplant seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs can complement the soup’s flavors.
  • Caprese Skewers: Skewers with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and basil leaves drizzled with a balsamic glaze can be a delightful side dish.
  • Grilled Polenta: Grilled or broiled polenta, cut into squares or rounds, can add a different texture and a light corn flavor that pairs well with the soup.
  • Focaccia Bread: This Italian bread with olive oil, rosemary, or other herbs can be a great side to the soup.

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Storage: Allow Zuppa Toscana to cool before placing it in airtight containers. It can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Freezing is possible but may alter the texture of the potatoes and cream.
  • Reheating: Warm the soup gently on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Avoid boiling to prevent the cream from separating.
  • Make Ahead: For best results, prepare the soup without adding the kale and cream. Store the base in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, reheat the soup base, then add fresh kale and cream during the last few minutes of cooking. 

What Can We Do With The Leftovers?

Transforming leftover Toscana Soup into a new dish is a brilliant way to reduce waste and keep your meals exciting. Here are some creative ideas:

  • Pasta Sauce: Reduce the soup on the stove to thicken it and use it as a delicious sauce for your favorite pasta.
  • Stuffed Peppers: Pour the soup over halved bell peppers and bake until the peppers are tender. Top with cheese for added flavor.
  • Baked Casserole: Mix the soup with cooked rice or pasta, top with cheese, and bake until bubbly and golden.
  • Pie Filling: Use it as a savory filling for a homemade pot pie. Top with a pastry crust and bake until golden.
  • Frittata Mix-In: Stir the soup into beaten eggs and bake to make a hearty frittata.
  • Grains Cooker: Cook quinoa or rice in the soup to infuse them with flavor.


  • Choose Quality Sausage: Opt for spicy Italian sausage for authentic flavor.
  • Potato Selection: Use russet potatoes for their starchy texture, enhancing the soup’s body.
  • Slice Potatoes Thinly: Thin slices ensure even cooking and better integration with the broth.
  • Sauté Vegetables: Brown the onions and garlic before adding to the soup for depth.
  • Add Kale at the End: To retain its color and texture, add kale just before serving.
  • Adjust Creaminess: Modify the amount of heavy cream to suit your preference for richness.
  • Season Well: Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes for a balanced flavor.
  • Serve Hot: Enjoy Zuppa Toscana hot for the best taste and comfort.
Delicious Zuppa Toscana Soup - An Italian-American Soup

Delicious Zuppa Toscana Soup – An Italian-American Soup

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Course: Sopus Recipe


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Toscana Soup, also known as Zuppa Toscana, is a popular Italian-American soup named after Tuscany, a region in central Italy. This creamy, hearty soup combines Italian sausage, potatoes, and Kale, cooked in a savory broth often enriched with heavy cream.


  • 3 Pounds 3 Ground Beef

  • 1 1/2 Cups 1 1/2 Chopped Onion

  • 2 2 Potatoes (Cubed)

  • 15 Oz 15 Kidney Beans (4 Cans)

  • 10.75 Oz 10.75 Condensed Tomato Soup (4 Cans)

  • 8 Cups 8 Tomato Juice

  • 3 Teaspoons 3 Chili Powder

  • 8 Cups 8 Water

  • Salt (To Taste)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Your first step into making your own Zuppa Toscana soup is to saute your Italian sausage.
  • In a pan over medium heat, cook your sausage until completely browned. 
  • Then, add your onions and cook them until they are soft and brown, stirring them frequently to prevent burning. 
  • Then, add in the garlic and continue cooking for another minute. 
  • Once this is done, remove the pan from the heat.
  • In a separate pot, add your potatoes and chicken broth and bring it to a boil. 
  • Continue boiling your potatoes until they are nice and soft – then add the sausage, onions, and garlic.
  • Stir in the cream and Kale until the kale wilts – then your Zuppa Toscana soup is ready for serving. 
  • Season well, portion out your soup, and enjoy!
  • Equipment List
  • Ladle
  • Peeler
  • Colander
  • Can Opener
  • Cutting Board
  • Large Soup Pot
  • Sharp Chef’s Knife
  • Wooden Spoon or Spatula
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Blender or Immersion Blender (Optional)


  • Variations: The recipe is very adaptable. You can replace the Italian sausage with other proteins like chicken, turkey, or even tofu for a vegetarian version. Similarly, spinach or Swiss chard can be used instead of Kale.
  • Spiciness: Adjust the heat according to your preference. Use hot Italian sausage and add red pepper flakes for a spicier soup, or stick with mild sausage for a milder flavor.
  • Creaminess: If you prefer a lighter soup, you can replace the heavy cream with half-and-half or even whole milk. Some recipes use a roux (flour and butter mixture) to thicken the soup instead of cream.
  • Potatoes: Traditionally, russet potatoes are used in Toscana Soup. However, you can use any potatoes you have on hand. You can use cauliflower instead of potatoes if you want a lower-carb option.
  • Cooking Time: Cooking times can vary based on the size of your vegetable and meat cuts. Make sure the potatoes are tender and the sausage is cooked through before serving.
  • Serving: Toscana Soup is best served hot, usually with crusty Italian bread. Some people like to sprinkle extra red pepper flakes or grated Parmesan cheese on top for added flavor.
  • Storage: Leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. This soup also freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat on the stove or microwave. Be aware that the potatoes may become softer after freezing and reheating.

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