Better Than Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

This week in Wisconsin we’ve had our temperatures back and forth between single digits with negative windchill, to high 30s and everything melting and then freezing over night.Add a 1 and a half year old French Bulldog who likes to pull me around on a leash, and I haven’t been able to go outside without slipping on ice patches or my face hurting from our air. Thats Wisconsin living for yah. img_0820

Weather like this always makes me crave a warm bowl of a very filling soup. One of my favorite winter soups has been Zuppa Toscana, a potato, kale, and sausage soup. It great too because kale has been in season and readily available. I love how creamy this soup is. Add a nice crusty baguette on the side and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal. I always like my soup to have a little bit of spice to it as well, so I usually opt to use a “hot” Italian sausage instead of a “mild”, but you can always switch that for your personal preference.

Zuppa Toscana Soup

Yield: 6 servings      Prep time: 20 mins        Cook time: 45 minutes


  • 1lb hot or mild Italian Sausage
  • 4 slices of bacon, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 32 oz chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 decent sized russet potatoes, sliced into 1/6 inch slices.
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 cup chopped kale


  1. Heat a large non-stick sauce pan or pot over medium heat and add sausage. Crumble while stirring until it’s cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.
  2. Add diced bacon to sauce pan and cook for about 6 minutes. Then add in chopped onion and cook for another 5 minutes until bacon is cooked through and onion is translucent.
  3. Add chicken stock, water, potatoes, sugar, fennel, salt, and pepper. Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat. Stir in crumbled sausage. Cover your pot and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until your potatoes are cooked through.
  4. Add kale and simmer for another 5 minutes, Stir in half and half and warm through. Serve warm topped with grated cheese of your choice and some Italian bread.

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