Zuppa Toscana is my favorite soup. It is warm, delicious, and mouth watering every time I talk about it! With the snow falling in Utah today, it is the perfect day for a bowlful of Zuppa Toscana Soup.
If there is anything inviting, sit down, by the fire worthy, it is Zuppa Toscna Soup. It starts with sautéed onions and garlic, then add in chicken broth. Boil the cubed red potatoes, in this mixture, and then add in the cooked sausage. The cream and kale come last and then finish it off with a healthy serving of parmesan cheese.
How To Make Zuppa Toscana Soup
1. Hillshire Farms Smoked Sausage is the star of this show. There is never enough sausage in this soup, for my family, so I always double the recipe below and use three lengths of sausage. The sausage comes in 12 oz. packages, so three of them is a little over three pounds. Take the sausage out of the wrapper and cut it in half at the bend.
Quarter each piece of sausage. Cut the piece in half lengthwise and then cut each one of these halves in half again. Now cut across the tube of sausage. Get all the sausage cut and then add to a large frying pan.
Cooking the sausage takes about 10 minutes. Stir every once in a while but not that often. You want the pieces to get a crispy edge to them. There is sugar in the meat so you have to be careful because they will burn. You don’t want a burned edge, just a golden brown, crispy edge.
I like to cook the sausage in my large 8 qt. dutch oven. Then I can use a slotted spoon and remove the sausage when it is done. I place it onto a paper towel and let it drain. Sauté the onions and garlic in the left over grease in the pot.
Using chicken broth you make at home is more economical then buying it from the grocery store.
2. Chop the onions and grate the garlic. Chopping onions is easy in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, slicing and dicing them into small pieces works great too.
Either way, cut the top and bottom off of the onion. Throw these pieces away. Set the onion on the flat, bottom side and bring the knife down and cut the onion into two halves. Peel off the tough outer brown layers of skin. Sometimes, there is a little brown, paper, like skin, that is on the inside. Cut this off instead of throwing away the whole piece because it has a little peel on it.
Turn the onion on its side and use your fingers as a guide. Curl them up on the outside of the onion and bring your knife down just in front of your fingers, making a thin slice. Keep moving your fingers backwards and slice after each move. Soon, you will have the most beautiful thin slices of onion. Turn the onion a quarter turn and cut across the slices you just made. Due to the fact the onion is already in thin rows, now you you have a perfectly diced onion.
Take the outer skin of the garlic off and cut off the rough end that was attached to the bulb. Use a box grater to grate the garlic on the very small, flat side. It makes perfect small pieces of garlic to add to any dish.
3. Place the chopped onions into the hot, leftover grease of the sausage. Cook it until it starts to get translucent. Then add the garlic. Stir continuously until you add in the chicken broth. You have to be careful with chopped garlic when adding it to a hot pan. It can burn very easily and it will take on a bitter taste. Stirring continuously will keep the garlic from burning.
4. Add the water and chicken bouillon to the onions and garlic. I choose not to buy chicken broth because I feel it takes up too much space in my pantry. It is basically a box full of water with chicken flavoring. I can do that with water from my sink and a very small bottle of chicken bouillon that takes up no space at all in my cupboard.
Wash the potatoes well and leave the skin on to add a bit of color.
5. While the chicken bouillon and onions are simmering, wash and dice the red potatoes. Red potatoes have a very thin skin. The color of the skin adds to the presentation of the soup and makes it so pretty. So I leave them on. Use a good scrub brush or green scouring pad to get all the dirt off of them.
Sometimes I am in the mood to dice the potatoes and other times, I use my mandolin and slice them into thin slivers to add to the soup. The mandolin is obviously a faster way to get the potatoes in the soup, but you choose. I find it really is a, “How am I feeling today?” kind of thing.
6. Place all the sliced/diced potatoes into the chicken broth and onion mixture. Get the liquid boiling and then put the lid on and turn the heat way down to a simmer. Pick up the lid every once in a while to see if everything is still boiling. The potatoes need to cook for 10-20 minutes. Pick one of them up, after the timer goes off, and let it sit in a small dish for a minute. Eat it and see if it is tender enough for your liking.
7. At this point the soup is almost ready to serve. Add the cooked sausage pieces and bring everything back to a slow simmer. Pour in the heavy cream and stir.
8. Cut the middle vein out of the kale while the potatoes are cooking so it is ready to add at this point. Each piece of kale has a long rib in it. Cut along each side of the rib and throw the rib away. Stack the two sides on top of each other and chop into small squares. I like to make two long slices down the length of the leaf and then stack these on top of each other and cut across them. Do this to all the leaves of kale. It will wilt and reduce in size by at least half when you add it to the soup after the cream has been added.
9. Let the kale warm up and wilt in the soup and grate some parmesan cheese. You are ready to serve the Zuppa Toscana Soup at this point. Make sure it has enough potatoes, sausage and kale and then garnish with the grated parmesan.
Here are a few products I like to use when making Zuppa Toscana Soup.
When you purchase items from the Amazon links below, I receive a small commission.
Zuppa Toscana Soup
- 1 1/2 lb. Hillshire Farms Smoked Sausage
- 1 1/2 lb. Red Potatoes
- 1 Onion
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 6 Cups Water
- 6 Cubes Chicken Bouillon or 6 tsp. Chicken Granules
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Bunch Kale
- 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Pepper
- Quarter smoked sausage link. Cut across the link and slice into small pieces. Cook sausage until golden brown and crispy. Remove sausage and set aside.
- Chop onion and grate garlic. Add to the grease in the dutch oven left by the sausage. Cook until onions are translucent.
- Add water and chicken bouillon to onions and garlic. Add the salt and pepper.
- Scrub and dice or slice potatoes. Add to the onions, water and garlic. Cook until potatoes are fork tender.
- Add the sausage and bring everything to a low simmer.
- Take out the veins in the kale and cut into small squares.
- Add the cream and the kale squares to the soup.
- Let the soup simmer for 5-10 minutes and then serve. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese.