Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

zuppa toscana (thick)

(3 ratings)
Blue Ribbon Recipe by
Elizabeth Lancaster
Lincoln, NE

My kids love Olive Garden for their soups and breadsticks. But for a family of five that tends to be a bill of $65+ dollars to eat out for one night! I can buy groceries for a week and a half for $65!! So I thought, turn Pandora on, play some authentic Italian music, and make some soup and breadsticks. They loved it. It was a major hit! Now I have decided to make more dinner nights fun by playing the theme music of the main dish we are dining on, to have a cultural experience in our own home. I hope the soup is to your liking and you can bring a little Italy home to your dinner table!

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Zuppa Toscana is a soup we love to get at Italian restaurants. This hearty made from scratch recipe is better than what you'll find at that chain restaurant. It's creamy with bits of crunchy, fresh kale in every bite. The sausage adds a spicy kick and there's a hint of smoky flavor from bacon. Serve with garlic bread and you have a comforting Italian meal. We opted to test this recipe in a Crock Pot, but a Dutch oven would be just as easy and delicious.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
(3 ratings)
yield 8 -10 people
prep time 1 Hr
cook time 5 Hr
method Slow Cooker Crock Pot

Ingredients For zuppa toscana (thick)

  • 1/2 lb
    hot and spicy Italian sausage
  • 1/2 lb
    regular or sweet Italian sausage
  • 1/2 c
    real bacon (chopped)
  • 1 sm
    onion (minced)
  • 2 clove
    garlic (minced)
  • 32 oz
    chicken broth
  • water
  • 4 lg
    potatoes (cubed)
  • 1/2 bunch
    kale (or Swiss chard), de-stem & cut/torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2-3 Tbsp
    all-purpose flour
  • 2 c
    heavy cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste

How To Make zuppa toscana (thick)

  • Slow cooker on the counter.
    You can do one of two ways, Crock Pot or Dutch oven.
  • Browning sausage with garlic and onion.
    Brown sausage in skillet. Add garlic and onion. Saute until golden brown.
  • Chicken broth, potatoes, bacon, water, and meat in a slow cooker.
    Add chicken broth, cubed potatoes, and bacon. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables and meat. If using a Crock Pot, cook on high 3-4 hours (low 5-6 hours) until potatoes are soft.
  • Flour, cream, and kale added to the soup.
    30 minutes before serving: Mix flour into cream removing lumps. Add cream and kale to the Crock Pot; stir. Cook on high (Crock Pot) 30 minutes or stovetop on med/high (stirring constantly) until broth thickens slightly. Add salt and pepper.
  • A ladle of thick Zuppa Toscana.
    Like I said, this recipe I have adapted for my family (we like thicker soups). If you prefer your soup more watery, add equal amounts of broth and water until you reach the thickness your family desires! Serve with breadsticks and enjoy!