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Tuscan Soup (Zuppa Toscana)

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5 from 4 votes

This easy homemade Zuppa Toscana soup recipe is hearty and incredibly delicious, but lighter than the traditional! Stuffed with Italian sausage, creamy cannellini beans, and fresh veggies in a flavorful broth, this soup beats restaurant versions any day!

Nothing welcomes winter better than a warm, cozy bowl of Zuppa Toscana Soup, or Tuscan Soup, made in the comfort of your own home! Yes, I do find Olive Garden’s version pretty tasty, but with the perfect blend of veggies, sausage, and a flavor-packed broth, this version is 10x better and lighter! 

My favorite part of this soup is that it is an all-in-one hit! Meaning, you have your veggies, your protein, and your flavor all packed into one meal. This is my favorite kind of weekday meal for either lunch or dinner. Pretty quick to make and easy enough to save in the refrigerator to heat up throughout the week. You can even make a double batch to freeze and save for months! 

For me, Zuppa Toscana is best served with a fresh, homemade Baguette or Garlic Bread! The choice is yours, you can’t go wrong.

What Is Zuppa Toscana?

In Italian, “zuppa” means soup and “Toscana” stands for the Tuscany region of Italy where the classic soup originated. In other words, it’s Tuscan soup! Traditionally, Tuscan soup is made with plenty of veggies, Italian sausage, potatoes, kale, spices and either bacon or pancetta. My flavorful twist on the traditional Tuscan soup takes on a lighter approach by swapping out the traditional heavy cream for chicken broth and leaving out the traditional potatoes and making room for a few more of my favorite soup veggies! You’re going to love it!

Ingredients To Make Zuppa Toscana

  • Yellow onions – yellow onions add flavor and texture. 
  • Carrots – carrots add sweetness and a pop of color! 
  • Celery stalks – celery stalks provide a subtle savory flavor. 
  • Garlic – garlic…because garlic!
  • Low-sodium chicken stock – chicken broth is the base to this tuscan soup, instead of cream. 
  • Spicy or sweet Italian sausages – Italian sausages serve as a source of protein, and bring a savory, meaty boost to the profile of the soup. 
  • Cannellini beans – cannellini beans, also known as white kidney beans, have a creamy and tender texture. Use great northern beans if preferred. 
  • Petite diced tomatoes – petite diced tomatoes provide bursts of tangy flavor to the tuscan soup. 
  • Dried thyme – thyme adds herbaceous earthiness. You can use dried oregano if preferred.
  • Baby kale – kale adds a hearty flavor and its robust flavor complements the savory elements of the broth and other vegetables. I prefer the more tender baby kale.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – a splash of olive oil helps sauté the veggies.  
  • Bay leaves– bay leaves contribute a mild, earthy and slightly peppery flavor and complexity.
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano rind and cheese – this is the secret ingredient that will change your soup game, if you choose to include it! Add the rind right into your soup, releasing a nutty, cheesy flavor as your soup cooks. I use Parmigiano-Reggiano rind but regular parmesan cheese rinds work too. 
  • Dry white wine (optional)  – dry white wine has slightly fruity and floral notes and is included in many traditional Italian recipes.

How To Make Zuppa Toscana

Learn how to make this hearty and satisfying Zuppa Toscana recipe! Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!

  1. Boil.

    Bring water to a boil and add sausages. Cook for about 30 minutes, keeping the water gently boiling. Remove sausages from water once they are no longer pink.

  2. Cut.

    Cut sausages into bite-sized chunks. Set aside.

  3. Add.

    Add onions, garlic, carrots, and celery to a large pot coated with olive oil. Sweat for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Stir frequently.

  4. Add more.

    Add 2 cans of cannellini beans, drained. Stir. Add the remaining two cans of cannellini beans, mashed with liquid. Stir again.

  5. Add again.

    Add chicken stock, diced tomatoes, sausage, thyme, and bay leaves, Parmigiano-Reggiano rind, and wine if desired. Stir.

  6. Simmer.

    Simmer on low heat for at least 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

  7. Remove.

    Remove optional Parmigiano-Reggiano rind and bay leaves.

  8. Add.

    Add baby kale 5 minutes before serving.

  9. Serve.

    Serve topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Is Zuppa Toscana Healthy?

This Tuscan soup is a lightened up version of the classic. Instead of cream which most recipes call for, we’re using chicken broth! While I’m not a doctor, this soup is loaded with veggies, and protein from beans and sausage. Please consult a doctor for questions regarding healthy meal choices!

Tips And Tricks

  • Vegetable swap. Don’t have kale or you aren’t a big kale fan? You can use spinach instead of kale if you prefer. 
  • Buy a large container of mirepoix. I prefer to purchase a large container of mirepoix – onion, carrot, celery – in the grocery store already pre-diced! It makes the prep work so much easier. 
  • Add more veggies. Do you prefer even more veggies? Add some sautéed bell peppers or diced zucchini. 
  • Add some heat. If you enjoy a little kick of heat, consider adding a dash of hot pepper flakes! 
  • Add a touch of cream. Want a creamier version? Add a splash of heavy cream!

Storage

  • Make ahead of time: you can make Zuppa Toscana soup ahead of time, up to 4 days in advance!
  • Store: once the soup has fully cooled, place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
  • Freeze: if you are preparing the soup ahead of time to freeze, I recommend waiting to add the kale until you serve to prevent it from becoming soggy. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and warm on the stove until heated through. 
  • Reheat: the best way to reheat is on the stove, however, if you don’t have access to a stove, gently microwave in increments of 30 seconds.

More Soup Recipes You’ll Love!

Tuscan Soup (Zuppa Toscana)

This easy homemade Zuppa Toscana soup recipe is hearty and incredibly delicious, but lighter than the traditional! Stuffed with Italian sausage, creamy cannellini beans, and fresh veggies in a flavorful broth, this soup beats restaurant versions any day!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: fall, winter
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 671kcal
Author: Tastefully Grace

Ingredients

  • 32 ounces low sodium chicken stock
  • 5 large spicy Italian sausages
  • 4, 29 ounce cans cannellini beans
  • 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes drained
  • 5 ounces fresh baby kale
  • 2 yellow onions chopped
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Parmigiano-Reggiano rind + grated parmigiano to sprinkle on soup
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme or dried oregano
  • Salt
  • ½ cup dry white wine optional

Instructions

  • In a medium pot, bring water to a boil and add sausages. Keep water at a gentle boil for about 30 minutes, until the inside of the sausages are no longer pink.
  • Remove sausage from water and cut into bite-sized chunks. Set aside.
  • In a large pot coated with olive oil, add onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Sweat for 3-4 minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Add 2 cans of beans, drained. Stir. Then add 2 cans of beans, mashed and undrained (add the liquid, too!). Stir.
  • Add chicken stock, diced tomatoes, sausage chunks, thyme, and bay leaves, parmigiano rind, and wine (optional). Stir until well combined.
  • Let simmer on low for at least 30 minutes, covered, occasionally stirring.
  • Remove parmesan rind and bay leaves. Add baby kale 5 minutes before serving, so it retains its bright green color.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Video

Notes

  • I buy a large container of mirepoix – onion, carrot, celery – in the grocery store!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 671kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 1478mg | Potassium: 790mg | Fiber: 18g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 5914IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 303mg | Iron: 9mg
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