Zuppa Toscana

My family was not really a go-out-to-eat kind of family. In retrospect we were lucky that my mom always cooked a homemade meal every day, but as kids of course we were always begging for burgers or pizza. To our delight fast food did happen every once in a while, but we almost never went to a sit-down restaurant – usually only when family was visiting from out of town.

Since we rarely ever frequented sit-down chains, and for us it was almost always Coco’s, or Sizzler, or Souplantation – so places like Red Lobster or Olive Garden always seemed so exotic and wonderful on TV! You could say their commercials absolutely worked on childhood me.

And while I’ve still only been to either a handful of times in my life, I gotta say… those breadsticks, cheddar bay biscuits… if there’s one thing chain restaurants do right, it’s the breadbasket.

I may not have grown up with Olive Garden, but the first time I ever had it I fell hard for their Zuppa Toscana.

I’ve still only visited Olive Garden a handful of times in my life, but my love of Zuppa Toscana refuses to die. Every few years I’ll come across a Zuppa Toscana recipe and remember how much I loved it – and this recipe absolutely fulfilled that craving!

Zuppa Toscana

from Eclectic Recipes

  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1/4 cup bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 large russet potatoes, sliced 1/8-inch thick, cut in triangles
  • 4 cups fresh roughly chopped kale, tough stems removed
  • 1 cup cream or whole milk
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat a large soup pot. Drizzle with olive oil. Add sausage and chopped onion. Brown sausage while breaking it up with a spoon.
  2. When sausage is done, add garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes. Then add chicken stock and water. Add potatoes and bring to a boil. Boil for about 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  3. Add kale and let it wilt in the soup. Bring soup to a simmer and add cream. Heat through, but don’t bring to a boil again.

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