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Zuppa Toscana (Better than Olive Garden!)

Zuppa Toscana Soup

Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro

Prep time 20 mins
Cook time 5 hrs, 30 mins

6 servings

You don't have to venture out to your favorite Italian restaurant to get this classic, decadently satisfying sausage and potato soup. This so-simple rendition is simmered to perfection in your own kitchen using the slow cooker. Heavy cream is the key to the rich, full-bodied broth--but if you wanted to lighten the soup up a bit, you can replace half of the heavy cream with half-and-half. If you're going for that signature Olive Garden flavor, the key is to use *spicy* Italian sausage. That said, if you're serving this to the kids, you may want to opt for a milder sausage. Serve this hearty soup with a light salad and, if you really feel like going all-out, some savory herbed breadsticks.  Recipe from FB: from Carl Barbaro


  • 1 pound Italian sausage (spicy)
  • 4-6 russet potatoes, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 1/2 bunch kale (or swiss chard), destemmed and cut/torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup bacon, cooked and chopped

How to Make It

  1. Brown sausage links in a sauté pan.

  2. Cut links in half lengthwise, then cut slices.

  3. Place sausage, chicken broth, garlic, potatoes and onion in slow cooker. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables and meat.

  4. Cook on high 3-4 hours (low 5-6 hours) until potatoes are soft.

  5. 30 minutes before serving:

  6. Mix flour into cream removing lumps.

  7. Add cream and kale to the crock pot, stir.

  8. Cook on high 30 minutes or until broth thickens slightly.

  9. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.

  10. Top with bacon immediately before serving.