Zuppa Toscana is lightened- up using poultry sausage then filled with creamy russet potatoes and hearty kale. This Olive Garden copycat recipe is perfect for rainy fall day!
I know I have mention before that, along time ago in another life, I worked as a waitress at the Olive Garden. Those were fun times filled with lots of salad, bread sticks, and yummy Zuppa Toscana.
If you never tried Zuppa Toscana from the Olive Garden then you’re missing out! It is filled with Italian sausage, potatoes, kale, butter, cream, and I am sure other yummy ingredients. It is soooooo good and I used to love sopping it up with breadsticks. If you haven’t guessed already, I wasn’t exactly health conscious back then.
When I first started to prepare this recipe it was not my intention to make a Olive Garden copycat Zuppa Toscana. I originally planned on making a slow cooker sausage and kale soup I found in one of my cookbooks. But I didn’t have time for a slow cooker recipe so I decided to make it on the stove. I also wanted to change it up a bit and add potatoes for richness, some milk for creaminess, and I substituted poultry Italian sausage. And that, my friends, is how this delicious lightened-up Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana recipe was born.
Anyway, I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I was blown away when I took a taste of this Zuppa Toscana. It’s delicious and tasted almost exactly like the Olive Garden’s.
Honestly, in all the soups I’ve made I can easily say this is one of my favorites. It’s really good. The flavors of the sausage, onion, garlic, and spices are great. I added a ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. This gives it a nice kick. If you’re using a hot sausage you might not need it. But if you like it spicy then throw it in. Instead of cream or half and half I decided to just use 1% milk – mostly because that is what I had on hand. It leant the perfect amount of creaminess to this soup.
You will get about 7 servings from this batch of Zuppa Toscana. We had 2 bowls then I put the rest in 16-ounce mason jar containers for lunches and/or dinners this week. You can freeze them but if you do leave about 1 inch of room to allow for expansion. Then let thaw in the refrigerator and warm up on stove or in microwave.
I hope you give this Zuppa Toscana recipe a taste because it is perfect especially for those of you who are living in a city – like Buffalo – where the winter just won’t quit.
Here are some of my other favorite soup recipes:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound of ground turkey (or poultry) Italian sausage (or 6 links casings removed)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 4 medium russet potatoes, skinned, thickly sliced, and quartered
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups 1% milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3-4 cups chopped kale
- Heat olive oil in medium to large soup pot and cook italian sausage until no longer pink. Break apart and crumble as it cooks.
- Add to sausage the onion, garlic, basil, oregano, and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onion and garlic start to soften.
- Add in potatoes, chicken broth, and milk. Cook until potatoes are soft. About 25 to 30 minutes. Give it a taste then add in the salt.
- Stir in the kale and cook for another 15 minutes or until kale is tender. Serve hot.
This soup can be made ahead completely then frozen in individual containers. Thaw in refrigerator then warm up on stove or microwave.
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