Zuppa Toscana

Easy copycat recipe for my favorite potato soup from Olive Garden


  • 1 lb ground mild Italian sausage*
  • 1 – 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 5 TBSP bacon pieces (optional)
  • 1 large white onion, diced (yellow will work as well)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 8 – 10 cups water
  • 10 – 12 bouillon cubes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 – 4 large russet potatoes, sliced
  • bunch of kale, roughly chopped

*If you substitute for ground turkey or chicken, you’ll do the following:

  • 1 lb ground Italian seasoned turkey or chicken
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 tsp dried fennel seeds (crushed in a mortar)


  1. Saute the Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot until cooked through.
    • If you are substituting for turkey/chicken, add the garlic powder, additional red pepper flakes, and fennel seeds.
  2. Remove the meat, drain the fat, and set aside in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the soup.
  3. In the same pot, saute the bacon pieces (if using), onions, and garlic until onions are soft.
  4. Add the water to the pot with the bacon, onions, and garlic.  Add the bouillon cubes, stirring often to dissolve the cubes and bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Add the potatoes and cook until soft.  This will take about 20-30 minutes depending on the thickness of the slices.
  6. Add the heavy cream and allow the soup to return to a boil.  Stir in the sausage and let simmer for a few minutes.
  7. Add the kale just before serving.  You can be as generous or stingy as you’d like.


This is a very forgiving recipe.  I tend to like my soup a little more chunky so I increase the meat and potatoes.  You will need to eyeball it and add more water with bouillon cubes as needed if you get carried away.  On the flip side, if you think you have too much liquid, keep adding potatoes until you’re satisfied.

Author: NicoleJeannette

I'm an unofficial cook, baker, and VR enthusiast in Colorado Springs.

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