Zuppa Toscana aka Olive Garden Potato Soup

by Destri on January 18, 2011

Zuppa Toscana Soup

About five years ago I tried to recreate my favorite soup at the Olive Garden, Zuppa Toscana.  A few years later I have something that in my mind is pretty similar.  Little did I know knocking off this recipe is now an art form in the food blog world!  So there are plenty of versions out there, and this is mine.  I of course tried to make it quick and easy, because dinner time normally means a two year old is hanging on my leg.  I have found the steps in cooking it is where the flavor is at, and little fingerling potatoes add a buttery flavor over the good ‘ol russet.  Ladies, it so good, you have to try it!

You can adjust the amounts of all the ingredients to your taste or what you have on hand, this is a very forgiving recipe.

Zuppa Toscana


1 pound golden fingerling potatoes

3 links Italian sausage, casings removed

1 medium onion chopped finely

2 Tbsp butter

About 4 cups chicken broth

2/3 cup cream

2 handfuls (about 2 cups) chopped kale

1 teaspoon of McCormick’s Grinders in  garlic pepper and Italian seasoning, on the medium grind

Seasoning garlic pepper and italian

Have you tried these yet?  You guys, they are my new favorite thing, and such a time saver!  They are less than $2.00 and I put the garlic pepper seasoning in just about everything.  If you don’t have these you can just throw in a couple chopped cloves of garlic, or garlic powder and Italian seasoning.  But I’m tellin’ ya, I love my little grinders :).


Sliced Potatoes

Put a large pot of water on and bring to a boil.  Wash and slice the taters bite size, about 1/2 an inch thick.  Add to the boiling water and let boil for just a few minutes.  You don’t want them quite fork tender, just softened.  Drain and return to pot and set aside (not on a hot burner, I’ve done that, not fun).

 Sausage and Onion Cooking

In a large skillet over medium heat, preferably not non-stick, brown the sausage and onion with the butter.

Browned Sausge and Onion

Once browned, you should have a bunch of the good stuff sticking to the bottom of the pan, that’s where the flavor is! Dump the onion and sausage into the pot with the potatoes.

Now add 1 cup of the chicken broth, it should bubble up, take a wooden spoon and scrape off all the little bits in the bottom of the pan.  Pour over the potatoes and sausage.

Potatoes and Saugsage in Pot

Add one more cup of the broth, the seasonings, and return the pot to burner over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat  to simmer and cover.  Let cook for a few minutes.  This is why you didn’t want the potatoes cooked all the way, now they still can soak up some of the juices…mmmmm!

Potatoes cooking in broth

Pour the rest of the broth into the pot, and let cook until the potatoes are fork tender.  Add the cream and salt and pepper to taste.

Just before serving stir in the kale, all done!

Are you cooking up some soup for our soup swap later this week?  I can’t wait!  I just got Kate’s recipe, and it’s a good one!


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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebekah January 18, 2011 at 7:42 am

I love this soup! I’ll definitely have to give your version a try.


Destri January 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm

I know, there are a million recipes out there! I had no idea, I thought I was pretty much a genius….sheesh.

Let me know how it goes!


Suzanne January 18, 2011 at 10:05 am

looks really good Destri! Love those grinders too.


Destri January 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Thanks Suz!


Maria January 18, 2011 at 10:31 am

Destri, You are so awesome. This is my favorite soup in the world!!!!!! When I was pregnant with my youngest I would get it Take out all the time….expensive little habit, but at least I could blame it on cravings. Thanks for the recipe I CAN’T wait to try it.


Destri January 18, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Oh I thought for sure you would have your own version :) You can add some bacon too, but I never have, bet it would be good…anything’s good with bacon!


Michelle January 18, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Jim was just asking me for more soup. Your timing couldn’t be better.


Destri January 18, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Michelle why does it always make me nervous when you try something I put up?!


Kate January 18, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Mmmmm although I’ll go for the fresh garlic any time. Home made versions are always so much better (and healthier) than ones made in fast food restaurants…… This looks delish… and I am glad that my recipe made it to you in one piece.

happy cooking everyone!


Destri January 18, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I know, I am usually a garlic purist myself, but our tenants left their little grinders when they moved, and I have to say I am hooked.
I hope to make your recipe this week and take some pics, it sounds delicious!


Raejean January 18, 2011 at 2:16 pm

I have a version of this recipe I cook in the crock pot. I love that my kids like it and I can get them to eat kale voluntarily!

I’ve been going through those cool grinders too.


Destri January 18, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Oh now you’re just a tease Raejean. I live for crockpot recipes, they are a life saver on my sewing days…okay, nay day really.

You will be cooking this and sharing Thursday or Friday I hope?


Pattyann January 19, 2011 at 7:25 am

Yum!! This is my favorite soup, and I am so going to try your recipe!!


Elia January 19, 2011 at 8:35 am

Thanks for this recipe, my family has ” 3 SOUP NIGHTS ” hardy with some type of protein …. I will make this one tonight!! But I think I will add peeled garlic cloves
& a diced Poblano pepper – we are TRYING very hard to stay “COLD & FLU FREE “


Destri January 20, 2011 at 5:04 am

You had me at Pablano pepper! Think I must try that! Hope the soup went well :)


Kathleen January 19, 2011 at 8:52 pm

I had to let you know that I made this soup tonight for dinner. It. was. to. die. for.
The whole family loved it. Husband even said he liked it better than my homemade chicken noodle soup. It was that good! Thanks for an awesome recipe that I will definitely be making again.

God Bless,


corrine March 30, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Great recipe. I had a roll of Bob Evans italian sausage in my fridge, and used 6 cups torn kale (tiny pieces) but pretty much stuck to recipe, added a bit water to adjust the broth volume. Definitely will do it again! I’m glad I found your page!


MariJo October 23, 2011 at 9:09 am

Made this soup last night for dinner, it was so good and very easy to make. The whole family loved it.


Mary September 28, 2013 at 1:28 am

I’ve got to try this as soon as the temperature gets below 85. Thanks for the recipe!!!


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