Recipe: Zuppa Toscana

updated May 7, 2020
Zuppa Toscana
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Credit: Maria Midoes

There’s a certain Italian chain that makes a certain soup that goes quite well with their unlimited salad and breadsticks. Recipes on the internet abound, but here’s our take on it — spicy from the sausage, hearty from the potatoes, creamy from the splash of heavy cream, and all-around comforting, it’s the soup to make when you have unlimited breadsticks — or, at least, some very good bread to enjoy alongside it.

A Hearty Soup for Weeknights

While zuppa Toscana translates to “Tuscan soup,” there are hundreds of soups that are simmered up in that wonderful region of Italy, like ribolitta and pappa al pomodoro, so I’ll argue that calling it that is a bit presumptuous. Particularly since I really never came across this particular soup while living there. Not to say that it doesn’t exhist — perhaps I should have stopped by that semi-fictional cooking school you see on commercials. We aren’t here to discuss authenticity, though — the fact is that this soup is tasty, and that’s all that matters.

(Image credit: Maria Midoes)

Spicy Italian sausage provides all the seasoning this soup needs, while thinly sliced potatoes cook down into the broth to create a thick, chunky soup that’s incredibly satisfying. Some chopped kale wilted in keeps things feeling wholesome, while a splash of heavy cream prevents it from being too wholesome. Bake up your own easy breadsticks and you’re in business.

Zuppa Toscana

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


  • 1 pound

    uncooked spicy Italian sausage, casings removed

  • 1

    large onion, diced

  • 2 cloves

    garlic, minced

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 cups

    (32 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth

  • 3

    large Russet potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds total), cut in half, then cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons

  • 5 cups

    gently packed chopped curly kale leaves (from about 1/2 of a large bunch)

  • 1/2 cup

    heavy cream

  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and potatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer gently. Cover and cook until the potatoes are soft and falling apart, about 20 minutes.

  3. Stir in the kale and cook until the leaves are bright green and tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cream, season with salt and pepper as needed, and serve, garnishing with Parmesan cheese.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Freezing: Because it contains heavy cream, this soup doesn't freeze well. If you do want to freeze it, hold back the cream and add it directly to the reheated soup. If done this way, the soup will freeze well for up to 3 months.