Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana – Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup

I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for ages  but it’s been relegated to the back burner because I have so many pinned recipes on Pinterest that I want to try.  Because of all the recent “to do” about Pinterest I had backed off the time I spend there in anticipation of canceling my account because of  some of their terms of use conditions that just aren’t acceptable.  I was very happy to get an email from them yesterday  that said that they are addressing some of the issues that pinners have, and  I’m cautiously optimistic that they will create a safe place for us to share photos and recipes. I hope so anyway.

The weather has been, cold, cold, cold here (although today is clear and sunny) and I was in the mood for soup so rummaged through my old bookmarks and found this copycat Olive Garden recipe for Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan soup) from Food.com.  I wanted something different than the recipes I usually turn to and this one hit the spot.   The combination of Italian sausage and kale is delicious and the red pepper flakes give it a little kick.  I made it a day before I wanted to serve it to give the flavors a chance to meld and I have to say that this is a winner.  I don’t think I’ve ever tried Zuppa Toscana at the Olive Garden but will make a point to order it next time I’m there. The reviews I read of this recipe say its a dead ringer. Even Pioneer Woman gives it an enthusiastic thumbs up.

Zuppa Toscana and Toasted Sour Dough Bread

Kale is my new favorite veggie and I’m looking forward to buying it at the farmers’ market when it opens in a few weeks.   A dietician at WebMD couldn’t say enough good things about it nutritional value. “Move over Popeye and make room for the “queen of greens,” kale. Gaining in popularity, kale is an amazing vegetable being recognized for its exceptional nutrient richness, health benefits, and delicious flavor.

Eating a variety of natural, unprocessed vegetables can do wonders for your health, but choosing super-nutritious kale on a regular basis may provide significant health benefits, including cancer protection and lowered cholesterol.

Kale, also known as borecole, is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. A leafy green, kale is available in curly, ornamental, or dinosaur varieties. It belongs to the Brassica family that includes cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts… I’m sold.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Zuppa Toscana
  • i pound Italian sausage
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup white wine to deglaze the pan
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano (my addition)
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 cups fresh kale, chopped
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven on medium heat crumble sausage into the pan and cook until well browned. Remove the cooked sausage from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl; set aside. Add chopped onion to the pan and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes (and oregano if desired) to the pan and cook for a minute more, just until fragrant. Add the wine to the pot and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Add the potatoes, kale, chicken broth and water to the pot. Return the sausage to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer on medium-low. Cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender. Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Portland Farmers’ Market Opening Day

I want to use more of this nutrient packed vegetable in my summer cooking.  What are your favorite ways of cooking kale?



  1. Happier Than A Pig in Mud says

    Funny you mention kale, my son was just saying he wants to try to grow it because it’s so healthy! The soup sounds great, we’re back into a cool spell in Philly:@)

  2. Aimee says

    I think this is the soup my best friend always orders and sings praises about! If so, I will have to try it and pass the recipe on to her. It looks fabulous:)
    Blessings, Aimee

  3. says

    I love the looks of this soup, but I have’t seen it at Olive Garden. Next time I go I’ll check it out.
    I’m one of the rare few people who haven’t signed up for pinterest, just because I don’t have time for musch more than I do now. And I’ve heard all the “to do”, so that was a cause for concern. I do hope they do some changing.
    Lynda recently posted..Homemade Sandwich BunsMy Profile

  4. says

    Your soup looks delicious and nutritious – I’m guessing it was much better than you’ll find at Olive Garden. I sowed my kale directly into the garden this year rather than in the greenhouse and I fear a disappointing crop coming on.
    Larry recently posted..Saturday Humor – Grilling RulesMy Profile

  5. says

    Cathy, nice recipe!! I grew up eating swiss chard and rainbow chard, but not kale. Do you know if there is much of a difference? In fact, my mother would sometimes cook and chop chard and use it in her spinach recipe. You really couldn’t tell the difference. Susan
    Susan recently posted..A great wine and an apologyMy Profile

  6. says

    In all honesty, this soup is probably my favorite way to eat kale – it’s one of my favorite soups, too! Yours looks beautiful – nice and creamy, but not heavy. I also like the kale chips and I tried a massaged kale salad once with some lemon juice and grated parm and that was good, too.

  7. says

    The kale in your country is different from the ones we have here, I am curious about the taste, Cooking it in soup is not something I would do here, although sometimes I used it to stew pork. Yours looks lovely!
    Jeannie recently posted..Pork MeatloafMy Profile

  8. says

    We eat Kale very often. Our favorite is the Lacinato , Tuscan or Dinosaur Variety of kale, same thing just different names. I most often roll up the leaves and slice, saute in a little bit of olive oil and some garlic , add a good pinch of red pepper flakes….then add a little bit of chicken or vegetable broth, cover and let steam for a few minutes until crisp tender. Delicious…we have been eating it at least twice a week all winter long. The stems are also very tender, I use those as well. I have also made a savory kale bread pudding to go with roasted chicken, kale salad, so many uses…I have to say it is up there with my favorite veggies.
    Linda recently posted..For Lola…My Profile

  9. says

    Love that photo of the market! I have been trying to include kale in our meals, but my husband is not crazy about it, maybe in soup! Pinned this on; thank you.

  10. says

    Oh soup is just what we love to serve at StoneGable. This one is a must-try! I love to use kale in recipes and kinda hide it…. maybe not my very favorite, but so good for all of us! Kathy, please come share this lovely soup… and gorgeous pictures at ON THE MENU MONDAY. Linky goes live at 8:00 PM tonight. Everyone will love this recipe!!!!
    Thanks so much for sharing this… YUMMY!

  11. says

    Would you adopt me? You cook exactly the way I like to eat. No kidding. I love making soups, and I’m bookmarking this one, for sure. I love the garlic and white wine. Wow, what flavor! I love, kale, too. My friend is raving about her kale chips, so I’m going to cave in and see what the hoopla is all about. She swears they taste just like potato chips. Ooooookay. I can hardly wait for my local farm stand to open. I see lots of strawberry plans, as I drive past it every day. I was just telling my husband, that I am excited to swim after work, again, then throw something one the grill– all the fresh veggies and a quick protein on the grill…makes my cooking life easier and I can enjoy locally grown produce. Win-win! In the meantime, it’s been raining here and a bit chilly. Soups and stews are still in fashion right now!
    Foodiewife recently posted..Guinness Irish Lamb Stew & Irish Brown Soda BreadMy Profile

  12. says

    That soup looks perfect for a day like today here in Princeton – a little chillier than the summery weather we had last week. I’ve been eating more kale lately too but never made a soup like yours. I was surprised that it’s a dead ringer for the one at Olive Garden. I guess I should take another look at that restaurant.
    ciaochowlinda recently posted..Philly RamblingsMy Profile

  13. says

    I have never tried kale but am trying to eat more veggies. So I will have to try it. The soup looks wonderful. I hope you get some warmer weather soon. This soup does sound like the perfect thing to warm you up in the meantime:)
    Raina recently posted..Easter CupcakesMy Profile

  14. says

    Hi, Cathy,

    A favorite recipe of ours, not exactly but close enough and since I was wondering what I’d fix for dinner tonight, this is a perfect solution. I picked some kale yesterday! Thanks for the reminder.

    Hope you’re staying nice and dry. Enough of this rain!
    Diana recently posted..Pacific Northwest SnowMy Profile

  15. says

    Hi Cathy,
    I have finally gotten around to trying this recipe and though I didn’t have any kale, I did have spinach in the fridge, which I used instead. The soup was excellent, the spinach was good but I think the kale would add a heartier texture- will definitely try it next time!

  16. Jean says

    I would NOT boil the kale for 30 minutes. The fist time I made this the kale was mushy and kind of gross, and I love kale. I add it the last 10 minutes of cooking and it’s perfect. I also use way more than 2 potatoes.

  17. Linda says

    I imagine the consistency would change by interchanging milk for the heavy cream, but would it change the flavour drasically?


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