When I go to the Olive Garden I have a hard time choosing between soup and salad, but most of the time I go with soup. And that causes a headache too – which soup to get??? I absolutely love the Pasta e Fagioli and the Zuppa Toscana. I have found a recipe that replicates the Pasta e Fagioli that makes it taste even better than what you get at the restaurant but my mom found a recipe for the Zuppa Toscana. I didn’t think it would be so easy to make but it really was! So now I don’t have to choose, I can go to Olive Garden and get one or the other and make the other one at home! 🙂 I thought I would share this because I know I’m not the only one that loves this soup!

*Photo from the Olive Garden


Zuppa Toscana



  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage (I used the Johnsonville brand)
  • 1½ tsp crushed red peppers (Use less if you don’t want it spicy)
  • 1 large diced white onion
  • 4 Tbsp bacon pieces (I like bacon so I put a whole package of thick bacon in it)
  • 2 tsp garlic chopped or pureed
  • 10 cups water
  • 5 cubes of chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes (I used 4 large potatoes because I like more – slice in half and then slice into ¼” thick slices with skin on.)
  • ¼ of a bunch of kale (I used 1 bunch of kale because I didn’t want any to go to waste – slice off the stem and then cut into chunks or tear apart.)


  1. Sauté Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot. Drain excess fat, set aside while you prepare other ingredients.
  2. In the same pan, sauté bacon, onions and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 mins. or until the onions are soft. *Make sure to render the fat off the bacon, I would put the bacon in first and then add the onions and garlic after you start to render some of the fat off. I also read in another recipe to use real bacon bits instead.
  3. Add chicken bouillon and water to the pot and heat until it starts to boil.
  4. Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
  5. Add the heavy cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.
  6. Stir in the sausage and the kale, let all heat through and serve.

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