Zuppa Toscana Soup (Olive Garden Clone)

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 45 mins

I have tried quite a few different recipes that state they are a Zuppa Toscana Copy Cat but none of them had much flavor and while they were close I set out to make a soup that is Zuppa Toscana.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Bring chicken stock and water to a light boil and add potatoes.
  2. In a skillet (preferably cast iron or enameled cast iron) cook bacon until somewhat done and remove (but do not add bacon to the soup, save for a BLT or something).
  3. Sauté the onion in the bacon rendering until almost caramelized (golden color).
  4. Remove and put in boiling stock.
  5. In the same skillet add olive oil and cook Italian sausage (with casings removed).
  6. Add garlic with the sausage and cook until sausage is done and the consistency of ground hamburger meat.
  7. Add mixture to the stock.
  8. By this time check to see if potatoes are cooked by trying to squish them on the side of the stock pot.
  9. When they are done reduce heat and add cream and Swiss chard, salt, anise, red pepper, black pepper.
  10. Serve with garlic bread or corn bread (or even better an herbed Parmesan corn bread).


Most Helpful

Delicious! I looked a lot of recipes over before settling on this one because of Chef Wahoo's interesting flavoring ingredients and technique. I did use the anise seed but next time I will also add the same amount of fennel seed (or maybe even twice as much). We love fennel and since it is the dominant spice in Italian sausage, I expect it will be a natural fit.

ravennae March 05, 2014

I agree! This is a great replica and a family favorite. This recipe has gotten my family to enjoy kale. I now buy it and put it in other recipes. The ingredients freeze well and can be placed in a pot or slow cooker to cook for dinner.

Rijaka June 12, 2012

Finally someone fixed the other recipes! There is def fennel and def red pepper flakes in the original soup! I added the juice of an entire lemon bc I thought it needed some acidity. I also did it all in 1 pot and used bacon grease instead of making the bacon. This makes a lot so I chop up the kale and add it to each bowl as we eat it so it doesn't get soggy. I like it green and crisp tender. I also only added 2 c. of water and was going to add more later but it didnt need it. It still made about a gallon.

Grimm's Restaurant Tales March 20, 2012

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