17. **Zuppa Toscana – Tuscan Sausage And Kale Soup**

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Do you find comfort in a piping hot bowl of soup on a chilly evening? Look no further than Zuppa Toscana, a delightful Tuscan sausage and kale soup that will warm your soul. With its savory Italian sausage, tender potatoes, and hearty kale, this soup is a satisfying meal on its own. The flavors of garlic, onions, and rich broth come together to create a bowl that is both flavorful and comforting. Whether you’re a fan of Italian cuisine or simply seeking a cozy and delicious meal, Zuppa Toscana is the perfect choice for a comforting and hearty soup experience.


Italian sausage

Italian sausage is the star of this hearty soup. Its savory and delicious flavor adds a depth of taste that is hard to replicate. Choose either mild or spicy Italian sausage, depending on your preference for heat.


Onions provide a flavorful base for the soup and add a hint of sweetness. They also give the dish a lovely aroma when sautéed.


Garlic is a key ingredient in many Italian dishes, and it adds a wonderful depth of flavor to this soup. Its pungent and aromatic qualities enhance the overall taste.

Chicken broth

Chicken broth serves as the foundation of the soup. It adds richness and depth to the flavors, providing a savory backdrop for all the other ingredients.


Potatoes add heartiness and texture to the soup. They provide substance and help make the soup filling and satisfying.


Kale is a nutrient-dense leafy green that adds vibrant color to the soup. Its earthy flavor and slightly bitter taste balance well with the richness of the sausage and cream.

Heavy cream

Heavy cream adds a velvety and creamy texture to the soup, making it luscious and indulgent. It helps to balance the flavors and adds richness.

Salt and pepper

Salt and pepper are essential for seasoning the soup. They enhance the flavors and bring out the best in all the ingredients.


Cook the sausage

Start by cooking the Italian sausage in a large pot over medium heat. Break up the sausage into small pieces as it cooks to ensure it’s evenly browned. Cook until the sausage is no longer pink and has a nice golden color.

Saute the onion and garlic

Remove the cooked sausage from the pot and set it aside. In the same pot, add the diced onion and minced garlic. Saute them until the onion becomes translucent and the garlic becomes fragrant. This will release their flavors and create a delicious base for the soup.

Add the broth and potatoes

Next, pour the chicken broth into the pot with the sauteed onion and garlic. Add the diced potatoes as well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it cook until the potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork. This will take about 15-20 minutes.

Simmer the soup

Once the potatoes are cooked, return the cooked sausage to the pot. Stir everything together and let the soup simmer for another 10 minutes. This will allow the flavors to meld together and create a harmonious taste.

Add the kale

Now it’s time to add the kale. Remove the tough stems and chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Add them to the pot and stir well to incorporate. Let the kale cook for 5 minutes or until it wilts and becomes tender.

Finish with heavy cream

To add richness and a creamy texture to the soup, pour in the heavy cream. Stir well to combine and let the soup simmer for another 5 minutes. This will give the cream a chance to meld with the other flavors and create a decadently smooth consistency.

Season with salt and pepper

Before serving, taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to suit your taste. Remember to season in moderation and re-taste after each addition to avoid oversalting.

17. **Zuppa Toscana - Tuscan Sausage And Kale Soup**


Spicy variation

If you love spicy food, you can kick up the heat by using spicy Italian sausage instead of mild. You can also add crushed red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to give the soup an extra fiery kick.

Vegetarian variation

For a vegetarian twist, you can substitute the Italian sausage with plant-based sausage or crumbled tofu. The flavors will still be delicious, and you’ll have a satisfying vegetarian version of this classic soup.

Gluten-free variation

To make the recipe gluten-free, ensure that the Italian sausage you use is gluten-free. You can also use gluten-free chicken broth and double-check that all the other ingredients you’re using are gluten-free as well.

Tips and Tricks

Choosing the right sausage

When selecting Italian sausage for the soup, choose one that is of good quality and suits your taste preferences. If you prefer a milder flavor, go for sweet Italian sausage. If you enjoy some heat, opt for hot Italian sausage. Look for sausages made with high-quality ingredients for the best flavor.

Prepping the kale

To prepare the kale for the soup, remove the tough stems by cutting or tearing them away. Stack the leaves and slice them into bite-sized pieces. Rinse the kale thoroughly under cold water to remove any grit or dirt. Pat it dry or use a salad spinner before adding it to the soup.

Adjusting the spice level

If you find the soup too spicy, you can tone down the heat by using mild Italian sausage or reducing the amount of red pepper flakes or hot sauce you add. On the other hand, if you prefer more heat, feel free to add additional spices to suit your taste.

17. **Zuppa Toscana - Tuscan Sausage And Kale Soup**

Health Benefits

Rich in nutrients

Zuppa Toscana is packed with nutritious ingredients. The kale provides vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like calcium and potassium. The potatoes offer a good source of fiber and essential nutrients like vitamin B6 and vitamin C. The onions and garlic contain antioxidants that boost overall health.

Good source of protein

Italian sausage is a great source of protein, providing essential amino acids that are important for muscle growth and repair. This makes Zuppa Toscana a satisfying and filling meal option.

High in antioxidants

Thanks to the combination of ingredients like kale, onions, and garlic, Zuppa Toscana is high in antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect the body against harmful free radicals and may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Serving Suggestions

Crusty bread

Serve Zuppa Toscana with a slice of crusty bread on the side. The bread can be used to soak up the flavorful broth and add a satisfying crunch to each bite.

Parmesan cheese

Grate some fresh Parmesan cheese over the soup just before serving. The salty and nutty flavors of the cheese complement the richness of the soup, adding an extra layer of deliciousness.

Side salad

Pair the soup with a simple side salad to add freshness and balance to your meal. A light vinaigrette dressing or a lemony dressing can provide a refreshing contrast to the rich flavors of the soup.

Storage and Reheating

Proper storage

If you have any leftovers, allow the soup to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Make sure to label the container with the date so you can keep track of its freshness.

Reheating instructions

To reheat the soup, simply transfer it to a pot and warm it over medium heat until it reaches your desired temperature. You may need to add a splash of chicken broth if the soup has thickened during refrigeration.

History and Origins

Traditional Tuscan dish

Zuppa Toscana, which translates to “Tuscan soup,” is a traditional Italian dish originating from the Tuscany region. It is known for its simplicity and use of local ingredients like Tuscan kale.

American adaptation

The version of Zuppa Toscana commonly found in American restaurants, such as the popular chain Olive Garden, is a slight adaptation of the traditional Italian recipe. It typically includes ingredients like Italian sausage, kale, potatoes, and heavy cream, creating a rich and comforting soup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different type of sausage?

Yes, you can use a different type of sausage if you prefer. Try experimenting with flavors like smoked sausage or even chicken sausage for a unique twist. Just keep in mind that the taste and texture of the soup may vary slightly depending on the type of sausage you use.

Can I substitute kale with another leafy green?

If you’re not a fan of kale or simply want to try a different leafy green, you can substitute it with spinach or Swiss chard. Both greens will work well in the soup and provide their own unique flavors and textures.

Can I use almond milk instead of heavy cream?

While almond milk can be used as a dairy-free alternative, it may alter the taste and texture of the soup. Almond milk is thinner than heavy cream, so the soup may be less creamy. If you choose to use almond milk, be aware that the final result may differ from the original recipe.