December 4, 2022

Irkaimboeuf

Food never sleeps.

Zuppa Toscana – Spoon Fork Bacon

7 min read

Made famous in the states by Olive Garden, our Zuppa Toscana recipe is based off that rich and creamy version! A delicious broth based soup loaded with Italian sausage, bacon, potatoes, kale, and finished with shaved Parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes. It’s a hearty soup that never disappoints!

Zuppa toscana in two bowls with bread on the side.

I love hearty ‘dinner’ soups like our Zuppa Toscana recipe! It’s a rich and creamy soup that is full of flavor, easy to make and leaves one feeling very satisfied. While there is a version of Zuppa Toscana that has its origins rooted in Tuscany, our recipe is based off the version popularized by Olive Garden.

Our soup is rich and hearty, but isn’t necessarily very thick. It’s a broth and milk based soup that we’ve loaded with chopped bacon, Italian sausage, potatoes, and kale. It’s absolutely delicious. We love serving some of our garlic bread on the side, which is wonderful for dipping into the soup.

Is Zuppa Toscana from Italy?

Zuppa Toscana is Italian and literally translates to Tuscan Soup. In Italy it’s more specifically called Minestra di Pane, which means Bread Soup. The classic version is filled with cannellini beans, kale, zucchini, some chile powder, Italian bacon (called rigatino), tomatoes or tomato pulp, and Tuscan bread.

As we mentioned above, our version of zuppa toscana is one based off the soup popularized by the U.S. restaurant chain, Olive Garden. The Olive Garden zuppa toscana more rich and decadent overall and doesn’t include bread incorporated into the soup.

Zuppa Toscana in a bowl with bread in the background.

How to Make Our Zuppa Toscana Recipe

Ingredients to make the soup Zuppa Toscana.

Process

  1. Pour oil into a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp.
  2. Using a slotted spoon drain bacon onto paper towels and set aside. Add the sausage to the bacon grease and cook, breaking up into bite sized pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned.Transfer sausage to a bowl using a slotted spoon.
  1. Remove all but 3 tablespoons drippings to dutch oven and place back over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot. Sauté vegetables for about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add potatoes, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes and thyme. Sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
  1. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables.
  2. Cook, stirring constantly, until the flour is evenly distributed and begins to brown on the bottom of the pot, 3 to 4 minutes.
  1. Stir stock (or chicken broth) into pot, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes.
  1. Add milk, kale and sausage to the pot.
  2. Stir together until evenly distributed. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the kale is softened and the soup is heated through about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as needed and stir.
  1. Serve in bowls garnished with shaved Parmesan cheese, crumbled bacon and crushed red pepper flakes.
Zuppa Toscana soup recipe in a bowl.

Watch us make our easy Zuppa Toscana soup recipe inspired by Olive Garden! It’s so easy!

Tools You Will Need

Reheating and Freezing Instructions for Our Zuppa Toscana Recipe

To Reheat

Cool soup and transfer to airtight containers. Store containers of soup in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to reheat, transfer soup to a pot and simmer over medium to medium-low heat and simmer until just heated through. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve.

To Freeze

Since dairy tends to separate once frozen and thawed, we recommend leaving out the milk and kale leaves when freezing the soup. Transfer cooled soup to a freezer friendly, airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.

When ready to use, transfer soup to refrigerator and thaw overnight. Then pour soup into a pot and simmer over medium to medium-low heat until heated through. Once soup is simmering, stir in milk and kale leaves and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve.

Zuppa Toscana in a pot with bread on the side.

Zuppa Toscana Recipe Variations

  • We use sweet Italian sausage to control the spiciness in our zuppa toscana recipe, but if you want a big kick you can use hot Italian sausage instead. You can also use Italian turkey sausage, if you prefer.
  • If you want to make this soup vegetarian friendly you can sub the bacon for sliced shiitake mushrooms and the sausage for a vegan version (there are so many options available these days!). You can also use cannellini beans instead of sausage, like the classic version from Italy. Vegetable stock can also be used instead of the chicken stock.
  • We love how hearty and textured kale leaves are, but using other leafy greens like mustard greens, Swiss chard, and spinach all work great in this soup!
  • When we want to lighten things up just a tad we’ll swap the potatoes out for bite sized cauliflower florets, which are wonderful in this soup!
  • To make this recipe dairy free, swap the butter out for a vegan variety and swap the milk out for a plant-based option (something with a mild flavor). The flavor will change slightly due to the plant-based milk, but will still be delicious.
  • To make this recipe gluten free, just swap the flour out for a gluten free flour option!
  • If you want this soup even more rich, you can swap the milk out for heavy cream. You can also use russet potatoes instead of yukon gold potatoes. The russets will breakdown more and naturally thicken the soup slightly.
Zuppa toscana in a bowl with a spoon in it.

More Simple and Delicious Soup Recipes You Will Love

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to never miss a recipe.

Zuppa Toscana recipe in a bowl.

Zuppa Toscana

PRINT RECIPE Pin Recipe

Made famous in the states by Olive Garden, our Zuppa Toscana recipe is based off that rich and creamy version! A delicious broth based soup loaded with Italian sausage, bacon, potatoes, kale, and finished with shaved Parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes. It’s a hearty soup that never disappoints!

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 35 mins

Total Time: 50 mins

Servings: 6

  INGREDIENTS  

  INSTRUCTIONS  

  • Pour oil into a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Using a slotted spoon drain bacon onto paper towels and set aside.

  • Add the sausage to the bacon grease and cook, breaking up into bite sized pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned.

  • Transfer sausage to a bowl using a slotted spoon.

  • Remove all but 3 tablespoons drippings to dutch oven and place back over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot. Sauté vegetables for about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Add potatoes, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes and thyme. Sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.

  • Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour is evenly distributed and begins to brown on the bottom of the pot, 3 to 4 minutes.

  • Stir stock into pot, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes.

  • Stir milk, kale and sausage to the pot until evenly distributed. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the kale is softened and the soup is heated through about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as needed and stir.

  • Serve immediately in bowls garnished with shaved parmesan, crumbled bacon and crushed red pepper flakes.

  NOTES  

**Recipe makes about 2 quarts (about 1 1/3 cups per serving)** To Reheat Cool soup and transfer to airtight containers. Store containers of soup in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to reheat, transfer soup to a pot and simmer over medium to medium-low heat and simmer until just heated through. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve. To Freeze Since dairy tends to separate once frozen and thawed, we recommend leaving out the milk and kale leaves when freezing the soup. Transfer cooled soup to a freezer friendly, airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use, transfer soup to refrigerator and thaw overnight. Then pour soup into a pot and simmer over medium to medium-low heat until heated through. Once soup is simmering, stir in milk and kale leaves and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve. Zuppa Toscana Recipe Variations
  • We use sweet Italian sausage to control the spiciness in our zuppa toscana recipe, but if you want a big kick you can use hot Italian sausage instead. You can also use Italian turkey sausage, if you prefer.
  • If you want to make this soup vegetarian friendly you can sub the bacon for sliced shiitake mushrooms and the sausage for a vegan version (there are so many options available these days!). You can also use cannellini beans instead of sausage, like the classic version from Italy. Vegetable stock can also be used instead of the chicken stock.
  • We love how hearty and textured kale leaves are, but using other leafy greens like mustard greens, Swiss chard, and spinach all work great in this soup!
  • When we want to lighten things up just a tad we’ll swap the potatoes out for bite sized cauliflower florets, which are wonderful in this soup!
  • To make this recipe dairy free, swap the butter out for a vegan variety and swap the milk out for a plant-based option (something with a mild flavor). The flavor will change slightly due to the plant-based milk, but will still be delicious.
  • To make this recipe gluten free, just swap the flour out for a gluten free flour option!
  • If you want this soup even more rich, you can swap the milk out for heavy cream. You can also use russet potatoes instead of yukon gold potatoes. The russets will breakdown more and naturally thicken the soup slightly.

Calories: 456kcal Carbohydrates: 26g Protein: 21g Fat: 30g Saturated Fat: 11g Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g Monounsaturated Fat: 13g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 65mg Sodium: 748mg Potassium: 909mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 5g Vitamin A: 5408IU Vitamin C: 60mg Calcium: 269mg Iron: 3mg

CUISINE: Italian, Italian-american

KEYWORD: Olive Garden copycat soup

COURSE: dinner, Main Course, Soup

Leave a Reply