Zuppa Toscana Soup

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I’m so excited to be partnering with Reynolds to bring you this delicious Zuppa Toscana Soup recipe! As always, all opinions are my own.

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 for the ultimate comfort food.

Pair this delicious soup with crusty baguette or homemade dinner rolls and a big Italian salad.

Overhead photo of finished zuppa toscana soup

Zuppa Toscana Soup

Zuppa Toscana” is translated to “Tuscan soup” or “Tuscan-style soup” which is typically filled with lots of veggies, potatoes, beans, and spices. So while this is certainly not an authentic Tuscan-style soup, it’s a copycat of Olive Garden’s famous Zuppa Toscana.

This Americanized version adds spicy Italian sausage, bacon, potatoes, and heavy cream. This soup is filling, hearty, and completely delicious. The preparation is quick and thanks to the slow cooker, the cooking process couldn’t be easier. 🙂

Process shots of this zuppa toscana soup being made showing the meat being cooked, potatoes being added, and kale being added and mixed together

How to make Zuppa Toscana Soup

Above this text, I’ve broken up the steps for making this soup in picture form, and below is a description of what’s happening in each of the numbered photos.

  1. Brown the sausage; use hot or mild Italian sausage (whichever you prefer). Tip: use a cast iron skillet and don’t over stir/over crumble the meat — you want it to get browned to develop layers of flavor.
  2. Add the sausage to your lined slow cooker (more on the amazing Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liners below!)
  3. In the same skillet used for the sausage, cook the onions and garlic; this will add a whole lot of flavor!
  4. Add those onions and garlic right on top of the sausage
  5. Peel and dice yukon gold potatoes. Yukon gold are my favorite in this soup!
  6. Add the potatoes right on top.
  7. Cover everything with chicken stock (stock has more flavor than broth) and any additional water if needed. Cook.
  8. Near the end of the cook time, chop up the kale into small bite-sized pieces.
  9. Add the kale, heavy cream, and seasonings (to taste) into the slow cooker
  10. Stir it all together and serve this zuppa toscana soup with cooked bacon and freshly grated Parmesan cheese!

Images of the reynolds slow cooker covers that help keep your crockpot clean when using it

Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liners

Okay so who hates that dreaded slow cooker soak and subsequent soak? I know I’m not alone! And while slow cooker meals are generally about as easy as things get, the clean up can sometimes be a pain. Which is why I’m excited to share with you all about Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liners. They’re the best way to avoid messy clean-up — in fact you’re left with virtually no clean up at all! Add one to your slow cooker before adding any of the ingredients for this zuppa toscana soup and cleanup will be a breeze! A few more of my favorite things:

  • They come in two sizes: regular and small which fit 4-8 quart slow cookers or 1-3 quart slow cookers respectively.
  • They’re made of heat-resistant nylon (no plastic!) and are BPA-free

Overhead image of the ready to eat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana soup in a bowl with a spoon in it

Quick tips

  1. Worried about heat? Use mild sausage and reduce the amount of red pepper flakes. If you’re a heat lover, use spicy Italian sausage and amp up the red pepper flakes. (We prefer this zuppa toscana soup on the spicy side!)
  2. Too much grease in the soup?  Some amount of grease is very normal from the Italian sausage, but you can fix that if you’re concerned. First, be sure to drain the sausage on a paper towel lined plate. Then for leftover grease, allow the soup to cool for 15-20 minutes. The grease will rise to the top and you can gently skim it off the top.
  3. Want to make this zuppa toscana soup thicker? This soup is traditionally quite brothy. If you’re looking to have it thicker, I’d recommend increasing the amount of potatoes slightly and then mashing some of the potatoes once cooked.

Side dishes to serve with this soup

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Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana Soup

5 from 1 vote
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 for the ultimate comfort food.
Print Recipe

Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana Soup

5 from 1 vote
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 for the ultimate comfort food.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword zuppa toscana soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Calories 383kcal

Equipment

  • Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liners
  • Slow Cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (16 ounces) ground spicy Italian sausage (mild can be substituted)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 large (1.5 pounds) yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 container (32 ounces) chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups chopped kale, (packed to measure)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • Small pinch dried thyme, optional
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 6-8 slices center cut bacon, diced and cooked
  • Optional: freshly grated Parmesan cheese and crusty toasted bread

Instructions

  • PREP: Line a crockpot (5 quarts or larger) with one Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liners. Set aside.
  • COOK MEAT: Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the sausage. Let cook without touching for 30 seconds to a minute to get a nice browning and then 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 slightly drain off grease if desired. To the same pot, add in the diced onions. If needed add a drizzle of olive oil (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 right on top of the sausage.
  • POTATOES: peel and dice potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces and then add in an even layer right on top of the sausage, onion, and garlic. 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 it from the stem. Dice it and pack into a measuring cups 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 top of the soup and enjoy.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 383kcal

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Nutrition facts in Zuppa Toscana soup

 

How many calories is Zuppa Toscana soup?

There are 383 calories per serving of this soup. Essentially if you divide the total amount of this soup equally into 8 parts, you’ll have 1 serving that is 383 calories.

Is zuppa toscana healthy?

This soup contains a good helping of kale, potatoes, onions, chicken stock, and garlic all which provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals.

Sausage, heavy cream, and bacon aren’t the healthiest additions to soup, but I believe they are fine ingredients to have in moderation. The term “healthy” is very dependent on personal beliefs, preferences, and goals.

To make this soup healthier, you can replace the heavy cream with half and half (it won’t be as thick/rich), and could leave out the bacon. I wouldn’t recommend any substitutes for the sausage as the flavors are very integral to the soup.

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