All the amazing flavors you crave in authentic Zuppa Toscana: crushed red peppers, diced white onion, bacon, garlic, broth, heavy cream, potatoes and kale.

I love this soup in the fall and winter. It is indulgent and still packed with bright green nutritious kale. It warms your heart and soul. It is deliciously hearty and satisfying. We serve it hot and every mouthful contains potatoes and kale with a hint of bacon that melts in your mouth. It is a recipe that the family loves. If you are making it for non spicy lovers you can adjust the amount of red pepper flakes.

pot of soup with kale, cream, potatoes, in a cream based sauce

Homemade Bread to go with your Tuscan Soup

You will want plenty of bread to serve with this delicious soup. What’s a savory hot soup without bread dunking action? Here are achievable and delicious options for you. We make these types of bread weekly in our home and love them!


Softest No Knead Bread

Fast Italian No Knead Ciabatta Bread (video)

close up of soup in pot

Main ingredients in this Zuppa Toscana

This version of Zuppa Toscana leaves out the traditional sausage. You can certainly add it if you are missing it in the recipe while you cook the bacon. I feel that there is enough richness with the bacon and potatoes and prefer it made in this way. The ingredients give you a little heat from the crushed pepper, depth of flavor with the wine, healthy greens from the kale, meaty richness with the bacon, and mild creamy accents with the potatoes and cream. You will love how these flavors meld together to create the perfect Zuppa Toscana!

  • Crushed red peppers
  • Fennel seed
  • White onion
  • Bacon
  • Broth
  • Heavy cream
  • Potatoes
  • Kale
pot of soup with kale, cream, potatoes, in a cream based sauce

How to cut and prepare Kale Leaves

Follow this tip to make sure you remove the toughest part of the kale! Fold the leaves of the kale together and hold them with your non-cutting hand. Use a large chef’s knife to cut off the tough stem that runs through the entire kale leaf. Roll up the kale leaves. Cut the kale into slices, using a circular motion with the knife.

What does Zuppa Toscana mean?

“Zuppa Toscana” literally translates to “soup from Tuscany”. As I researched the origin of this iconic soup, I found it incredibly difficult to find reliable information. I consider it a “peasant” soup- a soup made by Tuscany’s poor people since Medieval Times with inexpensive ingredients. Maybe, the addition of cream was added at a later time since that is a more rich and expensive component depending on the times? If you want my honest opinion, I think The Olive Garden invented the name of this soup and it is now popular in America. I do know that in Tuscany they serve this type of soup and simply call it “zuppa”, or “soup”.

How long does Zuppa Toscana last in the fridge?

I love this soup the nest day! It is one of those recipes that gets better with time. This Zuppa Toscana recipes stays good in the fridge for about three to four days. I do like it on the first day as the kale has more of a bite. To reheat the soup, add to a pot over low heat, or heat in a microwave safe dish. It is normal for the cream to separate from the liquid after it is refrigerate. It will unify again after it is warmed.

From my Cucina to Your Table. Mangia! Mangia! (Eat!)

Made with Amore, Elena

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pot of soup with kale, cream, potatoes, in a cream based sauce

BEST Bacon, Potato, and Kale Zuppa Toscana Recipe

  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

All the amazing flavors you crave in authentic Zuppa Toscana: crushed red peppers, diced white onion, bacon, garlic, broth, heavy cream, potatoes and kale.I love this soup in the fall and winter. It is indulgent and still packed with bright green nutritious kale. It warms your heart and soul. It is deliciously hearty and satisfying. We serve it hot and every mouthful contains potatoes and kale with a hint of bacon that melts in your mouth. It is a recipe that the family loves. If you are making it for non spicy lovers you can adjust the amount of red pepper flakes.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces 
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 3/4 lb small Yukon gold potatoes, cut in quarters 
  • 1 carton (32 fl, 946 mL) chicken or beef broth 
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 bunch of Italian kale (other variety will do), trimmed and stem removed removed* 
  • Salt and Pepper to taste 

Instructions

  1. Cook the bacon, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and fennel seed in a Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat until bacon is crisp and onions slightly browned. If there is too much bacon fat remove excess oil with a spoon- some drippings okay). Add potatoes and stir to combine. 
  2. Pour the chicken broth into the Dutch oven with the bacon, onion, and potatoes; bring to a boil over medium/high heat. Boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to low/medium and stir in the kale (and beans if using). Cook an additional 8-10 minutes, until tender. Add heavy cream; heat through. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot. 

Notes

* Fold the leaves of the kale together and hold them with your non-cutting hand. Use a large chef’s knife to cut off the tough stem that runs through the entire kale leaf. Roll up the kale leaves. Cut the kale into slices, using a circular motion with the knife.

Keywords: Zuppa Toscana, Italian recipe, soup, Italian soup, kale, bacon, potato, garlic, onion, Tuscan Soup