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5 from 23 votes

Zuppa Toscana

Creamy Zuppa Toscana recipe, full of crumbled sausage, crispy bacon and tender potatoes in a creamy broth! Make this Olive Garden Soup right at home. Low carb option included!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: zuppa toscana
Servings: 6 - 8 serves
Calories: 473kcal
Author: Karina


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound mild Italian Sausage casings removed
  • 4 oz (125 g) diced bacon
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine optional
  • 1 1/2 quarts (1.5 litres) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 Russet potatoes scrubbed, rinsed and sliced into 1/4-inch slices*
  • 1 cube beef bouillon crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes optional — adjust to your taste
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half or heavy/thickened cream
  • 3 cups chopped kale hard stems removed (substitute with baby spinach leaves or Swiss chard)
  • Fresh shredded parmesan cheese for serving
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional -- for a thicker soup) SEE NOTES


  • Fry the sausage in a heavy based pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat while breaking up the meat with the end of your wooden spoon. When browned, and cooked through (about 10 minutes), drain most of the oil, leaving about 1 teaspoon of drippings in the pot. Transfer sausage meat to a plate.
  • Cook the bacon in the same pot/Dutch oven over medium heat until crispy (about 10 minutes). Drain, leaving about 2 teaspoons of drippings in the pot. Transfer cooked bacon to the plate with the sausage meat.
  • Sauté onions in the pot and cook until soft and translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  • OPTIONAL: Add the wine and let reduce to half (about 2 minutes).
  • Increase heat to high, pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Season broth with crushed bouillon, salt, pepper, fennel and chili flakes. Add the potatoes and boil until fork tender (about 10 minutes).
  • Reduce heat to medium. Stir in the heavy cream, cooked sausage, bacon and kale. Let simmer for 2 minutes, until kale leaves have softened.


*For low carb option, replace potatoes with 1 head of cauliflower, chopped.
Cut potatoes into even pieces to ensure even cooking.
Chicken, turkey or beef sausages can be used.
Pancetta can be used instead of bacon.
For a thicker soup, mix cornstarch together with 2 tablespoons of cream. Mix well until free from lumps and add it in along with the cream. Give it a good stir while the soup is boiling until thickened. Then add in the cooked sausage, bacon and kale. Continue on with the recipe.


Calories: 473kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 576mg | Potassium: 981mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3580IU | Vitamin C: 52.6mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 3.3mg