Skip to Content

Lights are twinkling, soup is simmering

It’s 987* outside but nothing is going to stop my Christmas cheer. A little adult beverage might be the reason for the visions of gumdrops and several feet of snow in my yard. But anyway, I’m cheerful and the long list of things left to do is not bothering me ONE LITTLE BIT!

My latest ornament. I found this at a local Christmas store in Birmingham. I had to choose between that one and a “we embrace insanity” ornament. I think the one I picked out makes a certain statement about insanity, so I’m calling it glass full.


Along that line, am I the only one who goes to Olive Garden just for the soup? And when they ask me if I want more Zuppa Toscana, I have to bite my tongue in tiny pieces so I won’t say “yes, and just bring the pot”? Okay, maybe it is just me.

I have the recipe. And it’s good. REALLY good. I found it from an online recipe place and several previous employees and a chef from OG commented and said the slight adaptations from other commenters nailed the recipe exactly. And after eating numerous bowls over the years, this is as close as I can get.


  • 1 lb Italian sausage (I like mild sausage)
  • 3 medium to large potatoes UNPEELED, sliced into slices
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 strips of thick cut bacon
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups kale chopped
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, or 1 1/2 cups of half and half

Read more:

  1. Cook bacon in large stock pot. Remove after it’s done and drain all but 2 Tablespoons of bacon drippings.
  2. Cook onions in the bacon drippings.
  3. Remove casings from sausage. Brown sausage in your soup pot.
  4. Add garlic and cook through.
  5. Add chicken broth, water, and potatoes to pot and stir.
  6. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done.
  7. Turn to low heat.
  8. Add kale and cream or half and half.
  9. Heat through and serve.



Tuesday 27th of May 2014

Should is brown the sausage in with the onions or separately? And should I drain the sausage before adding everything else?

Healthy Zuppa Toscana Soup | Biting Life

Saturday 11th of January 2014

[…] (adapted from the Olive Garden menu & Katrina’s recipe) […]


Tuesday 18th of September 2012

How long do you think it took to cook? Trying to get an idea of a start time. Thanks


Wednesday 19th of September 2012

Total time was about 45 minutes. About 15 to cook the sausage and no more than 20-30 for the potatoes. The thinner you slice the potatoes, the quicker the cook time.


Wednesday 4th of April 2012

Hi! This look great, but one question - when do you add the hot pepper flakes? Did I miss that?


Monday 13th of August 2012

I added them at the end by sprinkling them over the top whenever I added the soup to my bowl. I also added a bit of cayenne and black pepper to the entirety of the soup, defintely added some awesome flavor in case you don't have red pepper flakes!

Janie Sauls

Tuesday 24th of January 2012

Yes! I have made this on several occasions. My family loves it and thought that I had gotten it from the Olive Garden until they saw me actually making it. The original recipe calls for Pecorino cheese and not Parmigiana. There is a big difference.