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Overhead photo of Zuppa Toscana in two large blue bowls with rough edges. A small beige linen napkin and bread spread with pesto. Mean Green Chef
5 from 4 votes

Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana, well known to most diners from the Olive Garden Restaurant. Zuppa Toscana literally translates into "soup in the style of Tuscany".  Our is rich with Spicy & sweet sausages and a rich broth. 

Category Soup
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword soup, zuppa toscana
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 servings
Author Mean Green Chef


  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 lb spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 lb sweet (mild) Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 8 oz (225 grams) bacon, diced
  • 8 Russet potatoes, scrubbed + rinsed + sliced into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine, optional
  • 12 cups (2880 ml) chicken stock
  • 6 cups (402 grams) kale, ribbed + chopped
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream, or sub half & half
  • freshly grated Grana Padano for serving, or sub Parmesan


  1. Heat a heavy-bottomed dutch stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat for 30 seconds, till shimmering. Add the sausage (that has the casings removed) and brown, stirring occasionally with a flat bottomed wooden spoon, about 10 minutes. Transfer the browned sausage to a platter that's been lined with paper towels, set aside.

  2. Add the diced bacon to the stock pot (Dutch oven) and brown until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pot and sit alongside the sausage on the platter to drain on the paper towels.

  3. Add the potatoes, onions, fennel seed, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently until the onions become translucent the fennel becomes aromatic about 4 minutes, add the garlic stir in thoroughly and cook for an additional 1 minute.

  4. Add the wine (if using) to deglaze the pot, stir and reduce to half, about 2 minutes. 

  5. Return the sausage and bacon to the pot. Pour in the stock and increase the heat to high, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Allow the soup to cook on medium-high heat for an additional 25 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the flavors have blended.

  6. Add the Kale and cook an additional 5 minutes till bright green and tender to the bite. Mix in the cream gently and stir thoroughly.

Recipe Notes

  • Prep time is approximate.
  • Refrigerate leftovers safely up to 4 days in an airtight container. 
  • To freeze Zuppa Toscana, don't add the kale! Defrost in the fridge overnight, and then warm in a heavy-bottomed saucepan,  add the kale and cook for 5 minutes till bright green and tender to the bite.