Zuppa Toscana

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An enduring favorite, Zuppa Toscana is a beloved dish familiar to many from the Olive Garden Restaurant. Translating to “soup in the style of Tuscany,” this hearty soup encapsulates the flavors of the Italian region.

The classic version is typically made from cannellini beans, potatoes, rigatino (think Italian bacon) celery, carrots, onions, zucchini, kale, tomato pulp, EVOO, salt, and toasted Tuscan bread.

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

American’s have come to love this soup in a different custom which includes fresh sausage, red pepper flakes, cream, and bacon.

Zuppa Toscana, a hearty soup hailing from the Tuscan region of Italy, has roots that trace back to traditional Italian cuisine. Originally a rustic peasant dish, it typically featured ingredients readily available in the Tuscan countryside, such as kale, potatoes, and Italian sausage. Over time, variations of the soup emerged, with each family and region adding their own unique twist to the recipe. Zuppa Toscana gained international recognition when it became a popular menu item at the Olive Garden restaurant chain in the United States. Today, it is cherished by many for its comforting flavors and remains a beloved staple in Italian-inspired cuisine around the world.

It’s the perfect soup on a cold winter night, our recipe serves up 12 healthy bowls, you can easily freeze half for another lunch or dinner. If you do freeze Zuppa Toscana, don’t add the kale! Defrost, warm in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and then add the kale and cook for 5 minutes till bright green and tender to the bite.

Storing Zuppa Toscana: Keeping Your Soup Fresh

To safely store Zuppa Toscana:

  1. Allow to Cool: Let the soup cool completely before storing to prevent bacterial growth.
  2. Airtight Container: Transfer the soup to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.
  3. Refrigeration: Store the soup in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
  4. Freezing: For longer storage, freeze the soup in freezer-safe containers or bags. It can last for up to 2 to 3 months in the freezer.
  5. Thawing: Thaw frozen Zuppa Toscana in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
  6. Reheating: Reheat the soup gently on the stovetop over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Avoid boiling to prevent the soup from becoming overly thick or separating.

By following these steps, you can safely store Zuppa Toscana and enjoy it at your convenience.

Close up photo of Zuppa Toscana in a large blue bowls with a rough edge. A small beige linen napkin and bread spread with pesto. Mean Green Chef

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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

How to Make Zuppa Toscana

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

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. 
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Mean Green Chef

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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

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.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Creative Recipe Inspiration

Delight in the comforting warmth of our Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup. This bright and flavorful soup features tender chicken, satisfying orzo pasta, and a medley of fresh vegetables, simmered together in a lemon-infused broth.

Indulge in the comforting flavors of our Lasagna Soup. This hearty and satisfying soup captures all the essence of traditional lasagna in a bowl. Each spoonful offers a comforting blend of robust flavors, reminiscent of a classic Italian feast. 

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    Join the Conversation

      1. Thanks so much, Jolie! 🙂 ?

    1. I can always count on reading your blog and know I have dinner for the night. ?

      1. You’re the best Karie, thank you so much for being a loyal reader!!! ???

    2. Tricia Snow says:

      I love the Kale addition! This looks amazing!

      1. Hi Tricia, the kale is a really nice addition and rounds out the flavor nicely. Thank you so much for reading 🙂

    3. Yum! This recipe looks good! I might have to try it!

      1. I hope you do Jenna, thanks so much for checking out our recipe! ?

    4. I know my husband would love this! It’ll be perfect for a day like today – a cold, rainy day in February, in Ohio (blah). Mine probably won’t look as A-mazing as your photos but I bet it will be delicious! Thanks for sharing!

      1. Thank you so much, Akiko 🙂 it is the perfect cold weather blah day kind of soup! ???

    5. Junell DuBois says:

      Sounds perfect for a cold day! We just started cooling off again in Texas so we’ll have to put this on the menu this week!

      1. Wonderful Junell 🙂 please be sure to tag us @meangreenchef or #meangreenchef in your recipe photos! And if you have any questions just give me a shout on our FB page https://www.facebook.com/MeanGreenChef/ ???

    6. Great recipe! Thank you so much! I pinned it for later, I can’t wait to try this!

      1. Hi Holly, 🙂 thanks so much for reading and pinning too!! ???

    7. This looks amazing! I’m trying eliminate dairy as much as possible, so I’m going to replace the half and half with coconut milk or cream and see how it goes. I will let you know!

      1. Hi Ramae, thank you so much for checking out our recipe! Please be sure to let us know how the coconut milk works with this soup 🙂 ???

    8. Gosh, I wish it was vegan… It looks delicious! My husband will love it though.

      1. Hi Anna 🙂 the good news is we have a Hearty Vegetable Soup that would be perfect for you and we’re also about ready to release a cauliflower soup too! Thanks so much for checking out our recipe! ???

    9. This is literally my favorite soup at Olive Garden. I have it pinned so I can try it later!

      1. Hi Kayella! 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and Pinning too, please be sure to let us know when you make a pot! ???

    10. as always, your dishes look amazing!

      1. Thank you so much, Jen! :)?

    11. This looks delicious! I’m totally going to try it soon!

      1. Hi Jessica, thank you so much for checking out our Zuppa Toscana Recipe. Please be sure to tag us @meangreenchef or #meangreenchef when you whip up a batch! Thank you ??️?

    12. This looks just as good as the soup we had in Italy last year. So delicious!

      1. Hi Lisa, thank you for the high compliment! ?:)

    13. Looks delicious as always. And as long as I’m on here I’m going to go back and leave comments for the recipes I have made.

      1. Thanks so much for being a loyal reader of MGC we really appreciate You! If you ever want to a specific recipe here just let us know, and we’ll make sure it happens 🙂 ???

    14. This looks amazing. It must be so much fun eating at your house!

      1. Hi Sandi 🙂 we do have some fun and amazing meals here! Thank you so much for checking out our recipe ?

    15. Mom Life Optimized says:

      Oh…my….goodness!! This looks so delicious and I have many of those ingredients on hand! Can’t wait to try this one!

      1. Hey Jackie! 🙂 Thanks a bunch for checking out our Zuppa Toscana Recipe, I can’t wait to hear how it turns out please be sure to tag us @meangreenchef or #meangreenchef in your photos (you know you want to take some)! Thank you ??️?

    16. Looks wonderful. I think I can eliminate the meat and cheese and use plant based milk to “veganize” it. Thanks for sharing.

      1. Thanks so much for checking it our recipe Cindy, please let me know how your vegan version turns out I would love to hear! ???

    17. Ohh. This would be so good right now!!!

      1. Hi Nicki! 🙂 thank you it’s a great bowl of soup and easy to make too! ???

    18. Pauline Reynolds says:

      Looks like Ill need to make this. I love this soup.

      1. Great to hear Pauline, please be sure to tag us @meangreenchef or #meangreenchef in your recipe photos! Thank you ??️?

    19. This looks so amazing! I can’t wait to try it!

      1. Hi Carrie, we can’t wait to hear how it turns out!! Please be sure tag us @meangreenchef or #meangreenchef in your recipe photos! Thank you ??️?

    20. Oh yum! I have kale in my fridge so i will be making it this weekend!

      1. Hey Kim, so happy to hear you’re making a batch this weekend! Please be sure and tag us @meangreenchef or #meangreenchef in your recipe photos! Thank you ??️?

    21. Yum! That soup looks so tasty! Thanks for the recipe.

      1. Hello Dee, thank you! It is a tasty soup, really appreciate you stopping by and checking out our recipe! ???

    22. Wow! That sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing it!

      1. Hi Laura 🙂 thank you! ?

    23. Susan Franklin says:

      I just love soup….. looking forward to trying this one out. I pinned it 🙂

      1. HI Susan, thank you so much for reading and pinning our recipe! ???:)

    24. Katie Mitchell says:

      Looks SO delicious…wouldn’t expect anything less from you though!

      1. Ha, thanks Kaite!! Really appreciate the fact that you check out our recipes, thank you so much for your support and kind words 🙂 ???

    25. Zuppa Toscana is my favorite soup! Thanks for sharing the recipe and reminding me to make it!

      1. Hey Jennifer, 🙂 thanks so much for checking it out. Please don’t forget to tag us @meangreenchef or #meangreenchef when you make it! Thank you ??️?

    26. This looks delish!!! I will have to make this soon!

      1. Thanks so much, Dennis! 🙂

    27. This looks SO hearty! A great winter recipe. I love comfort food!

      1. Hi, Kathyrn! 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by to check out our recipe, we love comfort food too! ?

    28. This is my husbands favorite soup at Olive Garden. I am not a great cook so I’m going to pass this on to him to try 🙂

      1. Hi, Amanda! 🙂 You could totally make this soup, it’s super easy to whip up, but if your husband likes to cook then he can serve you up a bowl! Thanks so much for checking it out ???

    29. This soup sounds awesome! I will definitely give it a try!

      1. Thanks so much for checking out our Zuppa Toscana recipe Mary! 🙂 Take some pics and make sure to tag us @meangreenchef or #meangreenchef! Thank you ??️?

    30. Oh, my gosh, Angela ~ this looks sooo good! On a chilly day, tucked under a blanket on the couch while watching the perfect movie….this bowl would be a perfect way to bring it all together. Yum!!

      1. Thanks so much for checking out our recipe, Tina! 🙂 It is the perfect comfort food a chilly day! ???

    5 from 4 votes

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