Midweek Menu: Zuppa Toscana

When we used to be more likely to frequent chain restaurants, one of my husband’s favorites was always the Olive Garden (I am fairly certain he still craves their alfredo). My staple when we had a meal there was Zuppa Toscana soup. I liked that it was creamy, but not too heavy, and zesty. The balance of sausage, kale, potatoes and spicy red pepper worked for me, and I’ve always wanted to try making it at home, but I had kind of forgotten about it. Then, last week at the farmer’s market, I stumbled across some Toscana Kale, and the name reminded me of the soup! So, I headed home to try making a batch of this restaurant favorite. The results were successful (and less salty!), except for the absence of those processed, frozen, yet addictive, breadsticks.

Zuppa Toscana



Perfectly in season ingredients!

  • 1/2 lb. spicy Italian sausage, bulk or casing removed (I had sweet from Valley View Farms, so I added red pepper flakes when I cooked the sausage)
  • 1 onion (Jett’s Natural Produce)
  • 3 cloves garlic (Apple Ridge Farm)
  • 1/3 c. white wine
  • 2 medium potatoes (Heritage Farms CSA)
  • 1 bunch kale (to make 2 c. chopped, from Jett’s Natural Produce)
  • 2 c. chicken stock (homemade from Valley View Farms chicken bones)
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 c. milk (Keepsake Farm)


  1. Crumble sausage and cook in dutch oven, then remove with slotted spoon to set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, dice onion and mince garlic.
  3. Add onion and garlic to sausage drippings and cook and stir over medium heat until onions are translucent.
  4. Meanwhile, dice potatoes and chop kale.
  5. Add wine to pan, scraping up browned bits from bottom.
  6. Add potatoes, kale, broth and water to dutch oven.
  7. Bring pot to boil, then cover, reduce heat and let simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  8. Return sausage to dutch oven.


    Just after adding sausage back to soup.

  9. Add milk and stir.
  10. Serve hot with fresh ground black pepper and crusty bread.


One response to “Midweek Menu: Zuppa Toscana

  • Anne James

    Not that it will make them any better for you but the breadsticks actually aren’t frozen, they are delivered already partially baked every other day and then Olive Garden bakes them the rest of the way. The thing about them that is bad is the liquid margarine that is use to “butter” them. You would be so grossed out to see how much of that stuff has to be painted on there to makes them soft instead of hard

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