The temperature is dropping, pumpkin spice everything has taken over, and all of my favorite stores are stocked with patent leather booties, and heavy cardigans. You know what that means! Fall is finally here and I figured the best way to kick off the season is with my…I mean EVERYONE’S favorite fall special; Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana soup. I swear, as soon as you type in “Zu” on Google, prepare to be inundated with all of the best copy cat recipes. I get it, it’s such an easy and delicious soup recipe, it’s worth every share.
What I love the most about this soup is how it get’s better over time, so be sure to save some for the next day! When it comes to this soup, I think everyone has their own approach and adds their special preferences and little extras along the way, yet somehow we all end up serving the same great tasting soup, that continues to bring people together. I’ve made Zuppa for friends and small gatherings and years later and we still reminisce about it, because it’s that good!
The flavors in the soup are simple and start with 2 key ingredients; sausage & onions. Once the onions and sausage have cooked down they act as the key flavor agents for this soup and while I love a seasoned dish, you really don’t need a lot of seasoning. Salt, pepper, and maybe a little garlic powder is all you need to make THE BEST Zuppa Toscana soup, trust me.
HOW I MAKE MY ZUPPA TOSCANA SOUP
SAUSAGE- For this recipe, I’m using spicy sausage because I love some heat. You can use whatever you like. I usually purchase sausage links and remove the casing. We don’t want the sausage to over cook, so once it’s done and there is no pink, remove it and drain on a plate or paper towel.
ONIONS- Like I said earlier, the onions lend tons of flavor to the soup. I use white onions and quickly dice the whole onion. I say quickly because I haven’t found any good tricks to stop the onion tears! Trying to dice an onion with tears rolling down your cheeks is never fun. Once they are diced, I add them to the pot using the same grease from the sausage. From here we’ll start building our soup flavor.
POTATOES- Red potatoes are my favorite, so I’m going with my favorite! After I’ve rinsed about 6 potatoes, I slice and add them to the pot with the onions.
SEASONING – As mentioned above, you don’t need a lot seasoning for this soup but if you’re like me and like to build on top of natural flavors, salt, pepper, garlic powder, creole seasoning, parsley, and basil is a wonderful blend for this soup. I won’t list these seasonings in the recipe below because they are totally optional. If you do decide to use them, just a 1 teaspoon of each will do the trick.
KALE – I would say the amount of kale you add is also about preference. I add about 2 handfuls of kale because once it cooks down it balances with the other key ingredients. I add enough so that every spoonful has equal parts, kale, potato, and sausage.