Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana soup is everything you could possibly want on a chilly day!
Creamy, savory, and hearty, this soup tastes like it came right out of Nonna’s kitchen.
Olive Garden has a reputation for making super comforting meals.
And this is like the creamier cousin of my favorite Italian sausage soup!
It’s a rustic blend of Italian sausage, thick bacon, potatoes, and kale in a super creamy broth.
Take a bite, and you’ll feel like you’re dining in the Italian countryside of Tuscany.
So if you’re in the mood for something cozy, put on a pot of Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana soup. It won’t disappoint.
Zuppa Toscana Soup
Olive Garden has an incredible lineup of soups. Gnocchi soup, minestrone, and pasta e fagioli are a few favorites.
But the best, hands down, is their Zuppa Toscana.
A bowl of this soup is like a big hug from an Italian grandma. It’s soul-warming!
Every savory spoonful is chunky, meaty, and decadent. And you have many options when it comes to types of sausage.
To make an authentic Olive Garden copycat, you need sweet Italian sausage (and thick-cut bacon!)
But you could use chicken sausage, Andouille, or even a vegan option if you like.
And for the full dine-in experience, pair it with breadsticks and a side salad. It’s the Olive Garden way.
What is Zuppa Toscana?
In Italian, zuppa translates to “soup” and Toscana refers to “Tuscany.” Put the two together, and you have Tuscan soup.
Tuscany is a region in Italy with a charming countryside setting. They have many incredible traditional foods, like pan Toscano and Panzanella.
Zuppa Toscana, though, is one for the books!
Hearty and bold, the savory flavors make it a fantastic addition to winter meals.
The classic version includes cannellini beans, Italian bacon, carrots, celery, potatoes, olive oil, spices, and Tuscan bread.
Olive Garden’s version is a little bit different. It’s a lot richer and meatier.
Yet, it’s equally delectable, nonetheless!
- Sweet Italian sausage. This is what makes it taste like Olive Garden’s version. However, if you want spicier soup, go with spicy Italian sausage instead.
- Bacon. Thick bacon holds up well to the creamy broth.
- Potatoes. Waxy new potatoes hold their shape well, making them one of the best types of potato for soup. Red and purple work, too. You can use Russet, but they may fall apart a bit.
- Garlic. You only need a few cloves. With the same ratio, you can also use storage-bought minced garlic instead.
- Onion. Yellow is the best. You can use white as well.
- Chicken broth. It gives the broth flavor without being overly bold like beef.
- Heavy cream. The higher fat content makes it super creamy. For a skinny version, use milk.
- Red pepper chili flakes. You need just a pinch. But I won’t stop you from kicking it up a notch!
- Salt and pepper. The soup would taste off without these two basic seasonings.
- Kale. Nutrient-dense kale is the main veggie component. If you don’t have kale, spinach will do.
- White wine vinegar. A splash of this acid will help cut through all the rich cream and fat.
How to Make Zuppa Toscana Soup
- Cook the bacon. Using a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Brown the sausage. Cook the sausage in the leftover bacon grease until browned. Set it aside with the bacon.
- Saute the onions. Add the onions to the pot. Cook them until they begin to tender. About 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and potatoes. Add the garlic and potatoes to the onions. Cook for about 1 minute until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Season with red pepper chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Season the root veggies and give them a good stir.
- Pour in the chicken broth. Pour the chicken broth over the veggie mixture and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. The potatoes should be tender.
- Add the kale, heavy cream, and meat. Stir in the kale, heavy cream, bacon, and sausage. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Season with white vinegar. Stir in the white wine vinegar and serve. Enjoy it with Tuscan bread or a garnish of parmesan cheese.
Tips for the Best Soup
- Make it spicy! For a spicy version, add red pepper chili flakes or use spicy Italian sausage. Or add both.
- Use Italian bacon like pancetta. It’s an Italian soup after all.
- Give it a nutrient boost with veggies and celery.
- Lighten up the broth with part milk and part half-n-half instead of cream.
- Skip the dairy entirely and use full-fat canned coconut milk. You’ll also need a dairy-free chicken broth substitute.
- Try it with dried Italian herbs for a flavor boost.
- Cut down on the grease by wiping the pot after cooking the meat. Then use extra virgin olive oil instead. It has a cleaner flavor and it’s a healthy fat.
- For a more keto-friendly version, skip the potatoes and use cauliflower.
- Chop everything into similar sized pieces for the perfect bite!
How to Store
Did you find you made too much soup? Not a problem.
To Store: transfer the cold leftovers into an airtight container and keep them in the fridge. Eat them within 3 days.
Can you freeze soup?
You can freeze some soups, but I don’t recommend it in this case. The creamy broth and the fats tend to separate.
So when you reheat it, the consistency won’t be the same.
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