Zuppa Toscana

If I ever go to Olive Garden, I always order the soup and salad with lots of fresh grated parmesan cheese. I have some fresh curly kale growing in my pallet garden so I decided to try to do my own at home. I looked online for ideas. I came up with this one after checking out about 5 or 6 others. This is a tasty and easy soup to make and enjoy. I updated it to include some lactose intolerant options.




1 lb. Hot or Mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
8 cups chicken broth
4 large russet potatoes, diced into bite sized pieces but not peeled
1 bunch curly kale, well washed, de-stemed and chopped to bite size pieces (~ 4 cups)
1 cup heavy cream (or use SIlk Soy Haavy Cream Alternative for lactose intolerant or mix 2/3 cup unflavored soy milk + 1/3 olive oil or melted margarine)
6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
Kosher salt and coarse ground pepper to taste
Optional Grated Parmesan, for serving


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook sausage, breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon, until browned and no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel covered plate to drain.
  2. Add onion to pot and let cook until soft, 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, ~1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken broth and potatoes. Increase heat to medium high (a slow boil is ok) and cook until potatoes are tender, 23 to 25 minutes.
  3. Stir in kale and let cook until leaves are tender and bright green, 3 minutes, then stir in heavy cream, peeper flakes, sausage, and bacon and simmer 5 minutes more.
  4. Season with fresh coarse ground pepper, garnish with Parmesan, and serve.