January 28, 2018

Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana

Out here on the rainy Oregon Coast, we are smack dab in the middle of soup season! I've been making a lot of my favorites (Chicken and Dumplings, Taco Soup, Cheeseburger Soup, Chicken Tortilla Soup, etc.), but I've also been trying out new recipes that have caught my eye on the Internet. Last month I stumbled upon a new blog (Homemade Hooplah), which was featuring this yummy recipe. We aren't huge fans of Olive Garden, but we love their soup, so I decided to give Chrisy's recipe a try. Winner, winner! We're definitely going to have this soup a lot this winter!

Homemade Hooplah's
Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana 
(an Olive Garden copycat recipe)
Photo Credit: Homemade Hooplah


1 lb. ground Italian sausage
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
4 russet potatoes, diced
Salt & pepper to taste
4 cups chicken broth
Up to 2 cups of water
1 bunch of kale, bite-size pieces (stems removed)
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Brown the sausage in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until cooked through (approx. 10 minutes). Add the onion and garlic, cooking until the onion begins to soften. Drain fat from pan.

Place the cooked sausage mixture in a 6-quart crock pot. Add the diced potatoes and season with salt & pepper. Add the chicken broth and up to 2 cups of water so that the potatoes are completely submerged. Stir and cover.

Cook on Low for 5-6 hours (or High for 3-4 hours).

After desired time has elapsed, remove lid and add kale and heavy whipping cream. Stir until well combined.

Cover and cook on High for an additional 30 minutes.

Garnish with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and serve while hot.

Yield: 8

My Notes:

The original recipe calls for hot Italian sausage. I prefer to use Sweet Italian.

I've seen other copycat recipes that use sliced potatoes rather than diced. I may try that next time, since the diced pieces have a tendency to overcook.

If you don't have kale, spinach is a great substitute.

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  1. oooooooohhhhh. This sounds yummy. I love soup weather!

    1. Candace, I love soup weather too, especially since it means a lot of great leftovers for lunches!

  2. Soup is on my list too. It hasn't made it to the top for a while, and really, I need it! Would love a bowl of your soup right now.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    1. Mae, I made this a few weeks ago and now I'm craving a bowl myself! It's really good!

  3. It sounds like a great comfort-food soup with the kale in it making you feel like it's also good for you! So a win/win!

    1. Laurie, I wasn't sure my family would like the kale but they surprised me! I plan to try it with spinach next time around. Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment!

    2. I like kale, but prefer spinach!

  4. I think the version we cooked ("we" meaning the husband, obviously) did have spinach in it. Is this one super spicy? The one we made was just too spicy for my taste.

    1. Nancy, this one would be super spicy had I used the hot Italian sausage. I knew it'd be too hot for us, so I substituted that with Sweet Italian sausage. It was just fine.


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