A copycat version of everyone's favorite sausage, kale and potato soup. Comes together in 30 minutes, perfect for a chilly weeknight dinner!Print
A copycat version of everyone's favorite sausage, kale and potato soup. Comes together in 30 minutes, perfect for a chilly weeknight dinner!
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 lb sausage (I like spicy chicken or italian!)
- 1 medium white or yellow onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 lb baby red potatoes
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2-4 cups water (see note below)
- 1 can evaporated milk OR 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4-6 cups kale leaves
- Heat a large pot over medium high heat and add oil. Once hot, add sausage (squeeze out of casings if you have sausage links) and break it up into big chunks. Let cook undisturbed for about a minute before stirring and breaking it into smaller chunks. Lower heat to medium and let cook, stirring/breaking occasionally, until brown and crispy.
- While sausage is cooking, dice up your onion and mince the garlic. Every once in a while, stir the sausage and make sure it's cooking evenly. When it's done, remove sausage from pan and set aside. Add onion to pot and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. If your sausage didn't give off too much fat, feel free to add a little more oil to keep the onions from sticking.
- While the onions cook, cut the potatoes. The size is totally up to you, just remember the smaller you cut them the quicker they will cook!
- When the onions are translucent and just beginning to brown, add the garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes (if using), salt and pepper. Cook for one minute.
- Add the wine and scrape up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Let cook for one minute.
- Then add the potatoes and sausage, along with the stock and water. Crank up the heat and bring the pot to a boil, then reduce it back to a simmer and let cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are totally cooked through.
- While the soup simmers cut or tear up your kale into small pieces. This feels annoying, but I promise it's more annoying to try and slurp up huge pieces of kale.
- When the potatoes are cooked, add the evaporated milk (or cream) and kale to the pot and stir. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary (I almost always add more salt, but that depends on the sausage you use).
- Serve hot!
- For whatever reason, I like this dish really soupy so I always use the full four cups of water. If you want to keep it less so then start with two and add more if you feel the need.
- A lot of the flavor comes from the sausage so use your favorite. I'm partial to spicy sausage and I like this soup on the spicier side, so I almost always go that route.
- With that said, if you want to make this vegetarian you can omit the sausage and add chickpeas or white beans. Both taste good - just make sure to add a little extra seasoning and taste as you go.
- To make this vegan you can add the beans and just omit the milk/cream. It obviously won't be the same, but still satisfying. (Full disclosure: I haven't actually tried this yet, but I think it will work).
- I'm a total weirdo and just really prefer the evaporated milk over heavy cream. A more normal person will probably prefer cream.
- I find that this soup keeps really well in the fridge for a few days so it's great to make a big batch over the weekend and eat throughout the week.
- LASTLY a lot of zuppa toscana recipes call for bacon AND sausage. That feels like a bit much for me considering how often I eat this, but if it sounds right for you go for it! I would chop up and cook a few strips before browning the sausage, remove from pan and then add it back at the very end before serving.
We all have that one dish. The one that we'll never stop making no matter what obstacles stand in our way. The one that feels comfortable and you can make in your sleep. The one that you make so often it (almost) feels as easy as ordering delivery. The one you can't quit even if you try. Zuppa Toscana is that for me.
I actually shared this recipe on v1 of this blog around five (!) years ago right before I moved to San Francisco (what turned out to the be the first of many cross-country moves, but still the biggest/scariest in my heart) and since then this version of Zuppa Toscana has continued to be the #1 most cooked thing in my kitchen(s).
My love for this soup boils (ha!) down to one thing: Comfort. Honestly, it just tastes comfortable to me. Is that weird? It's probably weird. But I'm assuming you have some sort of food that invokes that feeling for you so I think you get it.
If not, then at the very least you get that I'm weird ¯_(ツ)_/¯
From start to finish, I love the process of this recipe and turn to it on my most stressful days because I know I'll feel better before I even start eating it. Of course, I turn to it on most days in general because it's just good. Like, very very good.
Have I mentioned that yet? Zuppa Toscana is DELICIOUS. Who knew sausage + potatoes + kale = magic?!
(Oh, you knew? That's cool.)
I've tried a million different versions (LOTS more on this in the notes above, but this is the OG version and definitely my favorite.
Like most of the recipes I share here, this one is pretty customizable and easy to put together. If you follow the recipe as written it should be a 30-ish minute meal as I've laid out a fairly efficient way of cooking here (cutting onions while sausage cooks, prepping kale while soup simmers, etc.). However, if you prefer to get all your things prepped before you start cooking I still think you will be in and out of the kitchen in way under an hour. Either way, the beauty of this soup is that it doesn't need a long time on the stove to taste good so you're not sacrificing any taste in the quest for a quick meal.