Hearty Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Copycat Recipe)
Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Copycat Recipe) – Full of flavorful meaty broth, bacon, fresh green kale and a slight kick of heat, this Zuppa Toscana will warm your belly and your soul this cold season.
Olive Garden knows they’ve hit the jackpot with their Zuppa Toscana Soup when they have customers come in just for a bowl of the soup. One of those customers is my husband, he will go there just for this soup, no entree needed, may be just one re-fill…or two.
Full of flavorful meaty broth, bacon, fresh green kale and a slight kick of heat, this Zuppa Toscana will warm your belly and your soul this cold season. If you don’t have Olive Garden where you live or you’ve never tried this soup, it’s definitely a must. Any good cook has to know how to make a good Tuscan (Italian) Soup!
Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Copycat Recipe)
Yields: 4 qt pot of soup
Ingredients for Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Copycat Recipe):
- 4 qts water or meat broth
- 5 Yukon Gold Potatoes, medium size, sliced 1/8 inches thick (peeling potatoes is optional)
- 1 medium onion, peeled, diced
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots (optional)
- 3/4 cup bell pepper, diced
- 8 thin or 5 thick strips bacon, chopped
- 1-2 lbs Italian Sausage or ground meat of choice (chicken thigh, turkey or pork) + 1 tsp of Italian seasoning
- 1-2 cups heavy cream
- 4-5 cups kale, rinsed, stems removed, chopped
- 1 – 1 1/2 Tbsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns, freshly ground (to taste)
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed/chopped
- Olive Oil – for sauteeing
- 1/2 cup chopped green scallions
How to make Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Copycat Recipe)
1. Cut bacon to 1/3 inch pieces and render fat in a skillet set over medium heat until crispy. Tilt skillet to the side and let fat drip to the bottom while collecting bacon at the top. Remove bacon from skillet and discard the fat (discarding fat is optional and is only done to make the soup a little more healthy).
2. If not using the already pre-mixed Italian sausage, mix the ground meat with 1 tsp salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and pressed garlic until combined.
3. Add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet and saute diced onions over medium heat until transluscent, about 5 minutes. Add bell peppers, saute until slightly golden, another 3-4 minutes. Add shredded carrots, saute for 3-4 minutes, then add ground sausage and brown it while breaking it into small pieces with a wooden spoon.
4. Add 4 quarts of water or meat stock to a large pot and set over high heat. Add thoroughly scrubbed and then sliced potatoes to the pot and allow to come to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Add the browned sausage mixture & bacon, then let cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork fork, about 10-15 minutes.
5. Once the potatoes are soft, add heavy cream and bring to a boil. Remove the pot from heat. Add chopped kale & green scallions. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Let soup sit and mend all the flavors for 20-30 minutes before serving.
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