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speckled bowl full of Zuppa Toscana with spoon

Best Ever Zuppa Toscana

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 15m
  • Cook Time: 30m
  • Total Time: 45m
  • Yield: 6-7 1x
  • Category: Appetizers, Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Whip up this famous Olive Garden classic at home- delectably creamy and extra hearty is this cozy soup! Perfect for any occasion to serve as an appetizer or a main course!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 strips thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage, ground or links (casings removed)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 bunch fresh kale, stems removed and roughly chopped (about 5 cups)
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 32 ounces (4 cups) chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large heavy bottomed pot/dutch oven over medium heat, add the bacon directly into pot and cook until bacon releases its fat and cooks through completely until crispy, about 6-7 minutes. Be sure to stir the bacon often for even cooking. Then use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked bacon pieces onto a plate lined with a paper towel, and set aside.
  2. Add the chopped onions into the same pot and sauté the onions in the leftover bacon grease until they become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Then add in the garlic and continue cooking together for another 1-2 minutes. Look for the onions to be golden and tender and overall mixture to be nice and fragrant.
  3. Add in the sausage and use a wooden spoon to break up the sausage into crumbles. Cook the sausage until all pieces are browned throughout. Then season the sausage with salt, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes, while stirring again to combine. 
  4. Dump in the flour and stir everything together until the flour dissolves and soaks up any leftover grease. Toss in the kale and gently sauté it along with the sausage mixture for about 1-2 minutes. Then add in the potatoes along with the broth, cream, and butter. Stir everything together to fully combine and cover the pot with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow the soup to come up to a nice simmer for about 15 minutes. Make sure the potatoes are fork tender.
  5. Lastly, stir in the parmesan cheese. Taste soup and adjust seasonings, if desired. If you prefer, add in the reserved bacon pieces directly into the soup or see next step.
  6. Serve the soup warm and garnish with reserved bacon and more parmesan cheese, if desired.

Notes

  1. Storing: Leftover soup will keep in the refrigerator stored in an airtight container for up to three days. Simply reheat via the stovetop or microwave. Add more broth to help loosen the soup to your desired texture, only if needed.
  2. For slow cooker/instant pot cooking methods, see blog post for directions.
  3. Please read blog post in its entirety for additional tip + tricks.

Keywords: italian, soup, sausage, kale, appetizers