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RECIPE: Zuppa Toscana

You don't have to venture out to your favorite Italian restaurant to get this classic, decadently satisfying sausage and potato soup.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — This so-simple rendition is simmered to perfection in your own kitchen using the slow cooker. Heavy cream is the key to the rich, full-bodied broth, but if you wanted to lighten the soup up a bit, you can replace half of the heavy cream with half-and-half. 

If you're going for that signature Olive Garden flavor, the key is to use spicy Italian sausage. 

That said, if you're serving this to the kids, you may want to opt for a milder sausage. Serve this hearty soup with a light salad and, if you really feel like going all-out, some savory herbed breadsticks.



  • 1 pound Italian sausage (spicy)
  • 4-6 golden potatoes, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 1/2 bunch kale (or swiss chard), destemmed and cut/torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup bacon, cooked and chopped

Process: Instant Pot Version

Step 1
Brown sausage on saute setting

Step 2

Add Chicken broth, onion, garlic and chopped potatoes to pot.

Step 3

Cook 10 minutes on “manual” setting, quick release when time is up.

Step 4

Add kale and cream, heat through. 

Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne if desired, to taste.

Sprinkle with bacon before serving.

Process: Slow Cooker Version:

Brown sausage in a saute pan.

Place sausage, chicken broth, garlic, potatoes and onion in slow cooker. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables and meat.

Cook on high 3-4 hours (low 5-6 hours) until potatoes are soft.

30 minutes before serving:

Add cream and kale to the crock pot, stir.

Cook on high 30 minutes or until broth thickens slightly.

Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.

Top with bacon immediately before serving.

RECIPE SOURCE: adapted from  https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/zuppa-toscana

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