Slow cooker Zuppa Toscana Soup is filled with tender pieces of kale, seasoned Italian sausage, flavorful Yukon gold potatoes, and a warming, creamy broth. Top your bowl with crispy bacon and freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the ultimate comfort food.
Course Dinner, Main Course, Soup
Keyword zuppa toscana soup
Prep Time 20minutes
Cook Time 3hours
Total Time 3hours20minutes
Servings 6-8 servings
Author Chelsea Lords
1pound (16 ounces)ground spicy Italian sausage(mild can be substituted)
3-4large (1.5 pounds)Yukon gold potatoes,peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1container (32 ounces)chicken stock
2cupschopped kale,(packed to measure)
1/4teaspoonred pepper flakes,optional
fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepperto taste
6-8slicescenter cut bacon,diced and cooked
Optional: freshly grated Parmesan cheese and crusty toasted bread
COOK MEAT: Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and let it cook without touching for 30 seconds to a minute to get a nice browning. Use a wooden spoon to break it up and continue to cook until nicely browned through. Transfer the sausage to the slow cooker or to a paper towel-lined plate to drain off grease. To the same pot, add in the diced onions. Add a drizzle of olive oil, if needed (if there wasn't a lot of grease left from the sausage). Cook, over medium high heat, stirring until softened and tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute. Add this mixture to the slow cooker.
POTATOES: Peel and dice potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces, and then add in an even layer right to the slow cooker. Press all the ingredients into an even layer and then cover with chicken stock. If all ingredients aren't completely covered, add water until they are (up to 1 cup total).
COOK: Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours or until potatoes are fork tender. Before the soup is finished, wash the kale and remove the leaves from the stems. Dice and pack into a measuring cup to get 2 cups total. Stir into the soup, along with the heavy cream, red pepper flakes, thyme, and seasonings to taste (I add 1/2 teaspoon salt and heaping 1/4 teaspoon pepper, add to preference, remembering bacon and Parmesan add a good amount of saltiness). Let cook for 15 more minutes and then taste and adjust any seasonings. While it's finishing cooking, cook the bacon in a skillet until it's reached desired crispiness. Drain on to a paper towel-lined plate and serve alongside the soup.
SERVE: Serve with desired toppings: freshly grated Parmesan cheese (grate on a microplane for the best texture) and a crusty toasted baguette or bread. Sprinkle bacon on of the soup and enjoy.