Ever since I was a child, soups were my go to meal (maybe because soups were a staple in our household and I pretty much grew up on soups). And one of my favorite all time soup is the famous Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana. Its the perfect savory soup and super easy to make.

I live in a small town and believe it or not the closest Olive Garden is about an hour and 15mins away. So I love recreating restaurant dishes that I can enjoy at home. And many times I actually prefer my version of the recipe over the restaurants.

Many people have their own version of Zuppa Toscana and its very similar. But this version is the best version in my opinion (and taste). And it basically tastes the same as the Restaurant’s (if not better).

How to make Zuppa Toscana

1 .I start by prepping my potatoes. Peel and dice your potatoes, then rinse them with water to get some starch out. Then add them to a bowl and with water and set them aside.

2. I like to broil my bacon in the oven, (less mess and oil splatter) or you can cook bacon on the stovetop with your favorite pan or iron skillet. . Once your bacon is done, transfer the bacon unto paper towel and let it cool off. Once its cooled off dice the bacon. (If you are out of bacon and have bacon bits, it will work just as well).

3. While bacon is cooling off, take your meat, half pound of chicken breast and 0.5 lb. pork loin top chops (we love the boneless pork loin chops from Costco).

This is what makes this Zuppa Toscana recipe so unique. I take half pound of chicken breast and 0.5 lb pork loin top chops (we love the boneless pork loin chops from Costco) and grind it. I love this method and grinding my own meat just adds so much flavor to the soup.

After I grind the meat, I season it with Salt, Pepper, Mrs. Dash, and I add pinch of red pepper flakes. (If you don’t want your soup to be spicy, leave red pepper flakes out).

4. Take your potatoes, rinse them and add them to a pot with 10 cups of water and cook for about 10 -15 minutes. Season the water with a little pinch of salt and once the water starts to warm up add 2 to 3tbs of better than organic chicken bullion paste.

(Keep an eye on the potatoes, make sure you don’t overcook them, and if you see starch rising to the top of the pot, spoon it out.)

5. While your potatoes are cooking, Preheat your frying pan with 2 to 3 tbsp. oil, (I use avocado oil) sauté your meat until cooked through, 10 minutes or so until the pink is gone. Once meat is cooked thru, Transfer it to a paper towel and set aside.

6. Chop one medium onion and sauté it until soft and golden, then reduce the heat and add your minced garlic (2-3 garlic cloves, or more if you like garlic). Add diced bacon, pinch of salt and red cayenne pepper. Stir it occasionally, making sure you don’t burn the garlic.

7. Add 2 cups of chicken broth, check your potatoes with a fork they should be almost done. Add onions with bacon and your grounded meat to the pot. Then add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream , chop your kale and add it to the soup. Stir everything and cook for about minutes. Taste to see if soup needs more seasoning. You can add more chicken bouillon and pepper if needed.

Once the soup is done, remove from heat sprinkle parmesan cheese (optional) and Enjoy.

Everyone has different taste, if you are watching your sodium intake, I would start with only 1 to 2 tbsp. of chicken bullion paste and add more later if needed (you can also use maggi chicken cubes but of course they are not the healthiest option).

I love this Zuppa Toscana recipe, and I truly believe that grinding your own meat makes a huge difference. You can of course use store bought Italian sausage, but try this version and let me know below if you liked it.

Zuppa Toscana

Olive Garden Homemade Zuppa Toscana.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 5 pieces of bacon
  • 1 lbs chicken and pork grinded
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 5 or 6 russet potatoes
  • 10 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 bunch kale
  • 3 tbsp better than bouillon chicken roasted chicken base (organic if you can )
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • parmesan cheese optional for topping

Instructions
 

  • Peel and dice your potatoes, then rinse them with water to get some starch out. Then add them to a bowl and with water and set them aside.
  • Broil or cook bacon, and transfer it to paper towel to cool off. Once the bacon is cooled off, cut the bacon into small pieces.
  • Grind your meat, half pound of chicken breast and 0.5 lb. pork loin top chops (We love the boneless top loin pork chops from Costco). After the meat is grinded, season the meat with Salt, Pepper , Mrs. Dash and pinch of red pepper flakes. (leave out the red pepper flakes if you don't want your soup to be spicy).
  • Take your potatoes, rinse them and add them to a pot with 10 cups of water and bring it to a boil, then turn down the heat and cook for about 10 -15 minutes. Season the water with a little pinch of salt and once the water starts to warm up add 3 tbsp of better than organic chicken bullion paste.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, Preheat your frying pan with 2-3 tbsp oil or butter and sauté your meat cooked through, 10 minutes or so until the pink is gone. Once meat is cooked thru, Transfer it to a paper towel and set aside.
  • Chop one medium onion and and sauté it until soft and golden, then reduce the heat and add 2-3 minced garlic cloves. Add diced bacon, pinch of salt and red cayenne pepper. Sauté it for about a minute and stir it occasionally, making sure you don't burn the garlic.
  • Add 2 cups of chicken broth to the pot with potatoes, add onions with bacon and your grounded cooked meat to the pot. Then add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream , and chopped kale. Stir everything and cook for about 5 minutes. Taste to see if soup needs more seasoning. You can add more chicken bouillon and pepper if needed.
  • Once the soup is done, remove from heat sprinkle parmesan cheese and more bacon (optional) and Enjoy.

Notes

I like to cook my meat and potatoes the same time, because it takes the longest, and it helps to cut down the cooking time. This works out perfectly because the potatoes is almost done cooking by the time my meat is done. 
Since I don’t throw the potatoes in boiling water but in cold water and it does take a few minutes to reach boiling, this gives me more time to cook my meat to make sure its all the way cooked thru. 
Keep an eye on potatoes to make sure you don’t overcook them, if you are running behind on cooking your other ingredients. Lower the heat, you don’t want overcooked potatoes. 
 
Keyword dinner, olivegarden, recipe, soup, zuppa toscana