Better Than Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana

READY IN: 1hr 5mins
YIELD: 2 gallons




  • In a large pot on medium-high heat add the ground sausage and crushed red pepper flakes. Using a spatula, break up the sausage until it is fully cooked through. Pour the cooked sausage into a large bowl and set aside.
  • In the same pot add the olive oil, chopped onion, and real bacon pieces until the onions become translucent and begin to brown (about 10 minutes). Add garlic and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  • Add 2 cups of water to the pot and stir well to get all the sweet onion flavor from the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken concentrate and stir to combine. Add the remaining 8 cups of water.
  • Add potatoes and cook until fork tender. You may wish to add more salt, but be careful because the chicken base is very salty. Taste for saltiness after each addition.
  • After the potatoes are done, add the cooked sausage back into the soup. Skim off most of the fat from the sausage that floats onto the surface using a large spoon.
  • Add the fresh kale and stir in to allow the leaves to soften slightly. It will seem like too much, but it will cook down with time.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the heavy cream. Stir.
  • Add freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
  • Garnish each serving with shredded parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, if desired.