This ONE POT Loaded Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan Soup) is the ultimate creamy, hearty, decadently delicious comfort food! It truly tastes better than Olive Garden’s version loaded with Italian sausage, potatoes, bacon, cannellini beans, carrots, corn, and kale/spinach!
Oh my goodness friends, are you ready for to fall in love with richly satisfying Zuppa Toscana all over again? Because this Better Thank Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana is going to have you falling hard. To. Say. The. Least.
If you aren’t familiar with Zuppa Toscana, which literally means, “soup in the style of Tuscany,” it is a Tuscan soup popularized in America by Olive Garden. Classic Zuppa Toscana, however is much heartier, often consisting of not only Italian Sausage, potatoes and kale (like the Olive Garden version) but onions, celery, carrots, cannellini beans, zucchini and powdered chili.
My Zuppa Toscana has all the creamy goodness of Olive Garden’s version but with more veggies like classic Zuppa Toscana to create this truly better than Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana that you can make in ONE POT in your own home while wearing your slippers. This Zuppa Toscana is mega creamy, bursting with veggies and exploding with flavor. This is one hearty bowl of soup that you will never want to put down!
To make this Zuppa Toscana, we start with by cooking our bacon in the same pot we’re going to cook the rest of our soup. We use the leftover bacon grease to saute and infuse our mirepoix with even more flavor.
Mirepoix (pronounced “meer-pwah”), is simply a fancy French term for the combination of diced carrots, onions and celery sautéed in butter/olive oil and in this case, bacon fat – mmmm. Every chef will tell you that every great soup or stew should begin with a mirepoix. And I heartily agree. It adds richness and depth of flavor that can’t be achieved any other way. Chopping the celery, onions and carrots is probably the most time consuming part of this whole Zuppa Toscana recipe, but it’s so worth it. You can chop all your veggies in advance or you can even buy mirepoix by the jar and keep it in your refrigerator (I have a few friends with young children that swear by this shortcut)!
Next, we cook our sausage and garlic then sprinkle in our flour and cook for couple minutes to get rid of the raw flour smell then add our potatoes, creamy cannellini beans, creamed corn (also helps thicken the soup while adding flavor), and sweet corn.
Next, we whisk in our chicken broth. Now, a trick I use often in soups and sauces is to whisk some cornstarch into some milk before adding it to the soup. This makes the milk behave like heavy cream and helps thicken the soup. Finally, add our blend of handpicked herbs and spices…
…and simmer until the potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes) and you can barely resist the aroma escaping your soup pot.
Stir in half and half, spinach or kale and half of your chopped bacon.
Garnish individual bowls with remaining bacon and as much freshly grated Parmesan you heart desires.
Now all that’s left, is to serve this Zuppa Toscana with my family favorite Ugly Duckling Garlic Parmesan Breadsticks for the ultimate Better than Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana experience.
See you in my slippers.
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