Zuppa Toscana with Sausage, Potatoes, and Bacon
Zuppa Toscana literally means “soup in the style of Tuscany”, a definition that leaves a lot of room for interpretation. This hearty version is packed with buttery yellow potatoes, Italian sausage, bacon, and kale. It’s creamy, delicious, comforting, and completely crave worthy.
“Traditional” Zuppa Toscana (if there even is such a thing) includes zucchini, cannelloni beans, celery, carrots, and tomatoes in addition to kale, potatoes and pancetta, and is served over toasted bread. This recipe is the Americanized version. Although, honestly, it’s a totally different soup. The only reason why I’m calling it Zuppa Toscana is because it’s what so many Americans have come to associate with the name.
However, I HAVE actually made this exact recipe IN TUSCANY. Does that make it “authentic”? I dunno. But, I went to Italy last year to cook for a yoga retreat and this was one of the dishes I served.
I literally cooked it in a tiny Tuscan kitchen inside a cottage that was built in 1500’s. Talk about a bucket list experience.
Most importantly, all the retreat attendees loved this soup, devouring bowl after bowl of it. We had some left over and served it to some Italian friends who live in the area. They too couldn’t get enough.
So, no. This is not really a traditional Italian recipe. But, it’s been made and served in Italy, to Americans and Italians and the consensus was that it was delicious. I’m not sure anything else matters.
Names and yoga retreats aside, this is truly one of my all time favorite soup recipes.
The combination of sausage, bacon, potatoes, and kale all swimming around in a creamy onion, garlic and white wine broth is fan-freaking-tastic. It’s also really simple to make and much loved by everyone in my house, so it’s something that gets made on the regular around here.
As with all soup, this recipe is easy to customize at will. Use only bacon or only sausage. Throw in some additional veggies. Use spinach instead of kale. And, of course, add as much or as little cream at the end of cooking as you like.
Used in this Recipe:
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Weekly Meal Plans that include Zuppa Toscana:
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Zuppa Toscana literally means “soup in the style of Tuscany”, a definition that leaves a lot of room for interpretation. This hearty version is packed with buttery yellow potatoes, Italian sausage, bacon, and kale. It’s so creamy, delicious, comforting, and completely crave worthy.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb Italian Sausage, spicy or sweet
- 1 lb thick cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp ground thyme
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 2 lbs yellow potatoes (Yukon gold), cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 cups kale, chopped
- 1/2 – 1 cup cream (to taste)
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Shredded parmesan, for serving (optional)
- Heat oil in a large heavy bottom sauce pan or dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Crumble the sausage into the hot pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the sausage is cooked through with no pink on the inside of each piece. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage from the pan to a plate or bowl.
- Add the pieces of bacon to the hot pan and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pan to the same plate or bowl as the Italian sausage.
- Remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Turn the heat down to medium and add the chopped onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, sugar, salt, and pepper to the onions and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute longer.
- Add the wine, turn the heat to high, and use a wooden spoon to scrape any bits and pieces from the bottom of the pan. Boil for 3-4 minutes to reduce. Add the chicken broth and bring back to a boil.
- Put the bacon and sausage back into the pan. Add the potatoes and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add the kale and cook for about 1 minute, until wilted.
- Stir in 1/2 cup cream. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add up to 1/2 cup more cream, if desired. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve with shredded parmesan if desired.
This recipe makes quite a bit of soup. Leftovers reheat beautifully and might even be better the second and third day. Stir in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.