Zuppa Toscana

zuppa toscana

A couple of weeks ago we had lunch with my husband’s grandmother. She picked one of her lunchtime favorite spots, Olive Garden. Even though it’s not our favorite spot, I knew we could find something on the menu that wasn’t that bad. We told her we hadn’t been there in years and asked her to suggest something good.

She told us we’d love their Zuppa Toscana soup. She told us no one makes it better but her. She preceded to tell me where and how she had found the copycat recipe through a friend and how she had made the soup at home, her own way.

Even though our soup at Olive Gaerden was the best thing I have ever had on their menu, I still couldn’t wait to get home and try Grandma’s perfected copycat recipe out.

So a few days later, I got all the ingredients and followed her recipe exactly. I couldn’t believe how good it turned out, and boy was she right. It was so much better than the already pretty good soup at Olive Garden.

Here is her recipe. I hope you enjoy! And thanks again grandma Sharon for the amazing recipe!

recipe photo

Yield: Serves 4

Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Copycat)

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1 lb hot Italian sausage, casing removed
1/4 cup chopped bacon (optional)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups chicken stock
1 quart water
2 large russet potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thin, cut in triangles
4 cups fresh roughly chopped kale, tough stems removed
1 cup cream or whole milk


Preheat a large soup pot. Drizzle with olive oil. Add sausage and chopped onion. Brown sausage will breaking it up with a spoon.

When sausage is done, add garlic and saute for 2 - 3 minutes more. Then add chicken stock and water. Add potatoes and bring to a boil. Boil for about 10 - 15 minutes, or until potaotes are tender.

Add kale and let it wilt in the soup. Turn soup to a simmer and add cream. Heat though, but don't bring to a boil again.

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*Nutritional Information is not guaranteed for 100% accuracy.

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  24 Responses to “Zuppa Toscana”

  1. Odette — January 25, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

    Yay! This is my favorite soup at Olive Garden!! Can’t wait to try out your recipe, it looks sooooo good! Thank ya!

  2. Belinda @zomppa — January 25, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

    I so prefer this over Olive Garden!!!

  3. claudia lamascolo — January 27, 2012 @ 3:22 pm

    Sounds wonderful!

  4. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence — January 27, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

    This is my favorite soup at Olive Garden as well! I am going to have to give this a try 🙂

  5. marla — January 28, 2012 @ 7:48 am

    Always gotta love sausage in soup!

  6. Feast on the Cheap — January 30, 2012 @ 5:46 pm

    Mmmm, such a hearty winter soup. Looks delicious

  7. Joanne (Inspired Taste) — February 2, 2012 @ 9:35 am

    Lovely and a perfect cold weather day soup!

  8. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes — February 2, 2012 @ 10:57 am

    I pinned this recipe and hope to make it soon. It looks wonderful!

  9. Jo — February 2, 2012 @ 9:38 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious. Would love for you to share your gorgeous pictures with us at foodepix.com.

  10. Steph — February 3, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

    This looks so easy and delicious. I love soup, and I love kale…your recipe is going on my weekly shopping list!

  11. Patty R — February 4, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

    Am making this soup right now and storing the rest for a cold and rainy day! 🙂

  12. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — February 5, 2012 @ 12:29 am

    Looks great Angie, I can’t believe you don’t love Olive Garden! Although you probably have better options than we do!

  13. Katie — February 5, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

    I just made this, and boy oh boy is it good! I only made one change, and used skim milk instead of whole milk or cream. It still tastes delicious! Thanks for sharing such a great recipe 🙂

  14. casacaudill — March 28, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

    I’ve been making something like this for years now but I never knew that it had a name. Instead of potatoes though, I use cannelini beans.

  15. vabunuc — August 22, 2012 @ 10:03 pm

    The bacon is never optional!

  16. Alanna — November 15, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

    Is there anything you can replace the sausage with if you’re not a fan of it? The soup sounds amazing otherwise!!!

  17. Jeff — December 28, 2012 @ 8:40 am

    directions to not mention the (optional) bacon. just curious when to fry and when to add. Is it cooked separately or with the sausage? Thanks for the recipe…gonna make this today!

  18. Jeff — December 28, 2012 @ 8:49 am

    Forgot to ask in the comment above:
    Do I drain off grease from sausage or just leave it in the soup? Thanks again.

    • Angie — December 28, 2012 @ 9:31 am

      Cook the bacon and sausage together, and I would drain and reserve all but about a tablespoon or two. Then if you would like add the additional drippings later, or save for another recipe.

  19. Denise — July 20, 2013 @ 8:45 am

    This sounds and looks amazing! I might try add some mushrooms to it as well. Also like that you can use milk instead of the cream.

  20. Kirsten @ Green Global Travel — January 22, 2014 @ 1:24 pm

    MY italian grandmother has made a variation of this before. Looks good.

  21. Betsy Carey — January 25, 2014 @ 9:07 pm

    Delicious! Tastes just like Olive Garden’s recipe and my family loves it!

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