This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

Toscana Soup Like Olive Garden (Zuppa Toscana)

When cooler temps set in, I love to make up a batch of Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana soup. It’s a hearty soup featuring sausage, bacon, potatoes, cream and kale. I like to pair it up with freshly baked crusty French bread – so good!

toscana soup (zuppa toscana)

The biggest difference between this homemade zuppa Toscana soup recipe and the commercial version is the heartiness. I like to cut my ingredients into bite sized pieces instead of pea sized bits. I received this copycat recipe from a friend years ago.

This soup also freezes and reheats well – if you have any leftovers. (You may want to make a double batch.) In addition to Toscana soup, we also make homemade chicken and gnocchi soup. My husband prefers the Toscana soup, my boys prefer the chicken and gnocchi.

bowl of fresh kale and potatoes

Toscana Soup Like Olive Garden Recipe

Savory onions and garlic build a flavor base for this hearty soup. Use your choice of spicy Italian sausage or mild Italian sausage to set the tone for the recipe. For a little extra kick, add red pepper flakes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ pound bacon, diced
  • 2 ½ teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth (homemade broth is great if you have it)
  • 3 cups water
  • 5 medium potatoes
  • 4 cups fresh kale
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Brown and fully cook sausage; drain and set aside. Peel and dice potatoes; set aside in a bowl of cold water to prevent browning. Thinly slice fresh kale; set aside.

Cook diced bacon over medium heat in 8 quart saucepan until slightly crispy. Add chopped onion and sauté until translucent. Drain excess grease. Stir in garlic and cook one minute.

Add the potatoes, chicken broth, and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer for 25 minutes until potatoes are tender. Stir in kale, cream and sausage. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook for five more minutes. Serve warm. Freezes and reheats well. Serves 6-10, depending on how hungry they are and if you serve it alone or with other items like a salad.

If you like, you can make the soup ahead and simmer or reheat in a slow cooker. The flavor as good or better the next day,

Would you like to save this?

We'll email this post to you, so you can come back to it later!

What to Serve with Zuppa Toscana

Here are some delicious options to serve alongside Zuppa Toscana:

  1. Crusty Bread or Breadsticks:
    • A classic choice, crusty Italian bread or breadsticks are perfect for dipping into the soup. Their crispy exterior and soft interior provide a nice contrast to the creamy broth.
  2. Bruschetta:
    • Top toasted slices of baguette with a mixture of diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil. The freshness of bruschetta adds a burst of flavor that balances the richness of the soup.
  3. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches:
    • The comforting combination of a grilled cheese sandwich can be a great side for Zuppa Toscana. Consider using a good melting cheese like mozzarella or provolone for a gooey texture.
  4. Italian Antipasto Platter:
    • Create a spread of Italian antipasto items such as olives, cured meats, marinated vegetables, and cheeses. This provides a variety of textures and flavors that complement the soup.
  5. Caprese Salad:
    • Caprese salad, with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze, contrasts the richness of the soup.
  6. Mixed Greens Salad:
    • Balance the meal with a simple mixed greens salad dressed with a light vinaigrette. The crispness of the greens adds a refreshing element.
  7. Roasted Vegetables:
    • Roasted vegetables, such as asparagus, carrots, or Brussels sprouts, offer a flavorful and nutritious side. The caramelization enhances the natural sweetness of the vegetables.
  8. Focaccia:
    • Soft and herb-infused focaccia is another excellent choice. Tear off pieces and dip them into the soup for a delightful combination of textures.

Freezing the Soup

To freeze zuppa toscana, allow the soup to cool to room temperature. This helps prevent condensation inside the storage containers, which can lead to ice crystals.

Pack the soup into freezer safe containers or heavy duty freezer bags. I like to use Pyrex containers sized to hold enough for one meal. Make sure to leave some space in the containers for the soup to expand as it freezes. Date and label the containers.

To serve, transfer the soup to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. Alternatively, use the defrost function on the microwave. Gently reheat the thawed soup on the stove top. Do not boil – it may curdle the cream and overcook the veggies.

Print

Toscana Soup (Zuppa Toscana)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

Toscana soup like Olive Garden – a hearty fall soup with kale, potatoes and bacon.

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pound bacon, diced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth (homemade broth is great if you have it)
  • 3 cups water
  • 5 medium potatoes
  • 4 cups fresh kale
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Brown and fully cook sausage; drain and set aside. Peel and dice potatoes; set aside in a bowl of cold water to prevent browning. Thinly slice fresh kale; set aside.
  2. Cook diced bacon over medium heat in 8 quart saucepan until slightly crispy. Add chopped onion and sauté until translucent. Drain excess grease. Stir in garlic and cook one minute.
  3. Add chicken broth, water and potatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer for 25 minutes until potatoes are tender. Stir in kale, cream and sausage. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for five more minutes. Serve warm.

Notes

  • Freezes and reheats well. Serves 6-10, depending on how hungry they are and if you serve it alone or with other items like a salad.

Share a photo and tag us — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

toscana soup (zuppa toscana)

More Soup Recipes

Laurie Neverman

This article is written by Laurie Neverman. Laurie grew up in the kitchen, learning baking and home cooking from her momma. At age 15, she and her mom and two sisters created Irene’s Custom Cakes & Catering. This was her summer job through most of high school and college.

Last updated in 2023.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

13 Comments

  1. Your Olive Garden Style Toscona Soup recipe looks absolutely delicious. I make a low calorie version since I have to be calorie conscious. I use replace the cream, bacon and Italian sausage with evaporated skim milk, canadian bacon and turkey Italian sausage.