BEST Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe with Bacon, Potato, and Kale

5 from 3 reviews

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BEST Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe with Bacon, Potato, and Kale. 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. Serve with crust bread and tiramisu for dessert!

pot of soup with kale, cream, potatoes, in a cream based sauce
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BEST Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe with Bacon, Potato, and Kale

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 number of red pepper flakes.

More Italian soups to love: Classic Italian Wedding Soup Recipe, Pasta e Ceci (Italian Pasta with Chickpea Soup), Italian Beans and Greens Recipe (Escarole), Classic Italian Minestrone Soup, Blender Tomato Soup Recipe (Vitamix), and Simple Artichoke Soup Italian Recipe, and Authentic Italian Pasta e Fagioli Recipe (soup).

close up of soup in pot

Main Ingredients for Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe

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 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 Make Zuppa Toscana from Scratch

With super-flavorful ingredients, it’s almost impossible to mess up this easy Zuppa Toscana recipe. Truly! You just can’t go wrong when you combine cream, bacon, potatoes, and kale, right? Here’s how easy it is to make:

  1. Cook the bacon, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and fennel seed in a Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat until the bacon is crisp and the onions slightly browned. If there is too much bacon fat remove excess oil with a spoon- some drippings okay).
  2. Add potatoes and stir to combine. 
  3. Pour the chicken broth into the Dutch oven with the bacon, onion, and potatoes; bring to a boil over medium/high heat.
  4. Boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
  5. 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. 

That’s it!

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”.

Zuppa Toscana Recipe

Bacon, sausage, heavy cream, garlic, and parmesan cheese, plus a few veggies are thrown in for good measure—this rich, delicious, and comforting Zuppa Toscana recipe has it all, and then some!

How long does Zuppa Toscana last in the fridge?

I love this soup the next day! It is one of those recipes that gets better with time. This Zuppa Toscana recipe 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 refrigerated. It will unify again after it is warmed.

What to serve with BEST Bacon, Potato, and Kale Zuppa Toscana

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

Moist And Easy Homemade Cornbread

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

Made with Amore, Elena

More Delicious Recipes for YOU

soup in a bowl

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

BEST Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe with Bacon, Potato, and Kale

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5 from 3 reviews

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.

  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 8 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 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).
  2. Add potatoes and stir to combine. 
  3. Pour the chicken broth into the Dutch oven with the bacon, onion, and potatoes; bring to a boil over medium/high heat.
  4. Boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
  5. 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.

  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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5 Comments

  1. I make this with spicy sweet Italian sausage….my ALL time favorite especially when/and after I have been sick. I make my sisters mild because she is a wimp….CAN NEVER GO WRONG WTH THE TUMMY WARMING DELICIOUS SOUP..






  2. Made this tonight. Didn’t have enough bacon so I used Italian sausage instead and use the bacon as a garnish. It’s wonderful! Perfect for our first soup of the season! Go make this ASAP!