Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana – Homemade Hooplah

Olive garden soup recipes slow cooker

This Tuscan clay pot zuppa soup is an imitation Olive Garden recipe that makes it easy to bring the taste of Italy home. A simple dinner for the busy days of the week!

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Side view of a large bowl filled with prepared Tuscan zuppa soup.

About Crock Pot Zuppa Tuscany

There’s nothing better than a big bowl of comforting soup. Except for maybe being able to make one of your favorite restaurant soups from the comfort of your own home, in your most comfortable clothes, on those cloudy days you don’t want to leave the house.

Because that’s exactly what this slow-cooking Tuscan zuppa soup can do: give you all the flavor of Olive Garden’s best soup without having to leave your house.

And better yet, this soup is made in a cooking pot, so you can set it and forget it until it’s time to dig and eat.

This soup is one of the most popular homemade Hoopah recipes, and for very good reason: it’s an imitation recipe that’s so spot on that it’s almost better than the original!

What’s in Tuscan zuppa soup?

To enjoy your own hot bowl of Tuscan zuppa soup, you’ll need to collect the following ingredients:

  • Hot ground Italian sausage – Add some protein with a delicious taste. You can also use an equal portion of any sausage flavor (or spicy level) or substitute other ground meats (beef, chicken, turkey, etc.).
  • Yellow onion, garlic, salt and black pepper – common ingredients for hearty soups that add delicious flavor.
  • Russet Potatoes – Because nothing is as comforting as soft potatoes in a soup. You can also substitute this for red or golden potatoes. Peel potatoes is also optional (especially for golden ones!)
  • Chicken broth and

  • heavy whipped cream – To create a delicious and creamy broth for the soup. You can also substitute chicken broth for an equal portion of more water or vegetable broth. You can also make dairy substitutes, half and half cream, or skip the thick cream altogether.
  • Kale – A classic ingredient for this soup that adds a smooth, leafy texture. This can also be substituted for an equal portion of spinach, kale or mustard greens. One reader even recommended using endive. You can also skip the vegetation altogether if you wish.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Totally optional, but gives this Italian soup a classic cheese topping.
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Do you have to use kale?

Since he published this recipe, one of the most common questions about this soup has been about kale. Because, oddly enough, kale has a reputation for not being very tasty. Oh, how strange, I know.

So, as someone who is not normally a fan of kale,

but is a fan of this soup, I can confirm that kale can taste good, under the right circumstances. And the flavors of this soup go a long way in bringing out the kale’s best qualities, giving this soup a great plant-based texture and an added nutritional advantage.

However, if all the positive vibes in the world couldn’t sell you kale, many readers have replaced kale with spinach and liked the results.

Close-up view of a bowl full of Tuscan zuppa soup, showing the potato, sausage and kale.

What else can you add? Soups

like this are very indulgent and great for adding your own touch of flavor, such as:

  • Cooked and shredded bacon
  • .

  • Red pepper flakes.
  • Double the meat content (from one pound to two). You can use the same meat or even use different types.
  • Cannellini beans.

If you’ve made an addition to this soup that you enjoy, I’d love to hear it in the comments!

How can you thicken the soup?

This soup

is quite soupy, but there are two easy methods to make it thicker:

  • mix or crush a portion of the cooked potatoes inside the soup
  • .

  • Creates a suspension. When adding the heavy cream, reserve two or three tablespoons of cream and whisk with a tablespoon of cornstarch, then mix it with the soup. The soup will become progressively thicker the longer it is cooked.
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How long is Tuscan zuppa valid?

Once prepared, this Italian soup can last in the refrigerator in a sealed container for three to four days.

Can Tuscan zuppa be frozen?

Yes, you can totally! Soups are also great for freezing in individual portions.

To freeze, let the soup

cool to room temperature, then transfer it to a sealable container or freezer bags

. The soup

can be stored in the freezer for up to two or three months


What to

serve with Italian soup?

If you’re serving soup as a main course, you might be wondering what else to serve with it. And I totally understand that; Soups are one of those gray areas where it can be an appetizer, side dish or main course, and each situation may require different options.

In my house, we usually serve soup with:

  • Bread. Whether it’s toast, a baked bread with cheese or even a simple sandwich, anything with bread is sure to be a good complement to the soup.
  • salad. And when I serve salad with soup, I try to choose a variation that has different (but complementary) ingredients for the soup. Leafy salads or hearty pasta salads are always a good choice.
  • Meat dishes with minimal seasonings. You don’t want the other recipe to totally steal the show, but a light-tasting chicken or beef dish would go great with potato soup.

Notes and tips for this

Tuscan zuppa clay pot recipe

  • You can make Tuscan zuppa soup in many ways, but the main staples are kale, heavy cream, and potato. I’ve seen soups that use bacon and chicken, but I’ve always felt it works best with sausages (and Italian sausages).
  • This soup isn’t hard to make on the stove, but I’ve always liked the convenience of a clay pot, and this tuscan zuppa recipe from Olive Garden is a perfect example of what a clay pot can do. I’m a big fan of this clay pot, it has three sizes in one!
  • And if you like Olive Garden’s imitation recipes, be sure to check out this one from Parmesan Baked Shrimp!
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<img src="×1048.webp" alt="Side view of a spoon holding a portion

of Tuscan zuppa soup.” />

Tastier soups

How to make Tuscan zuppa soup

The next part is just a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Since this recipe is made in a clay pot, the instructions are very simple.

Step 1 – Cook the ground hot Italian sausage, garlic and yellow onion in a large skillet (draining the fat from the pan).

Step 2 – Add the cooked vegetables and sausages, potatoes, seasonings and chicken broth to your clay pot. Cover and cook in LOW for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.

Step 3 – Add the kale and heavy cream to the clay pot, stir and then cook in HIGH for 30 minutes.

Step 4 – Serve and enjoy!

And that’s it! This recipe can also be made on the stove, but sometimes you need the extra freedom that a clay pot can provide on a busy weeknight. There is nothing more comforting than a clay pot full of soup!

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