Zuppa Toscana literally means “Tuscan Soup”. It’s a rich, hearty meat and potato meal with plenty of greens and nourishing broth. So, let’s get to it! Here is my version of Zuppa Toscana (with Dairy Free Option).
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A white bowl on a wood table filled with Zuppa Toscana (with Dairy free option)

Zuppa Toscana (with Dairy Free Option):

This beautiful, traditional Zuppa Toscana is made with thick cut bacon, Italian Sausage, new potatoes, onion, curly kale, chicken broth and sweet organic cream…or for my dairy free friends, a non dairy option! If dairy does not agree with you I recommend subbing with coconut “cream”, it’s a thick, creamy dairy alternative that tastes great in soups. Now notice I said coconut cream,  not coconut milk. Coconut cream is much thicker than the milk, which will make a big difference to the recipe. 

Zuppa Toscana (with Dairy free option) in a white bowl set on linen with a silver spoon

Keep it Mild or Heat it Up! 

For those that prefer less heat, sweet or mild Italian sausage is a great choice. A pinch of red pepper flakes is all you need to strike the perfect balance. BUT if you like your soup with some heat, then using hot Italian Sausage is the way to go! 

Zuppa Toscana (with Dairy free option) in a white bowl set on a wood serving board

Love Soup and Want More Recipes?

Try my Easy Chicken and Rice Soup, Mexican Meatball Soup, or Creamy Butternut Squash Soup!

The Recipe: Zuppa Toscana (with Dairy Free Option)

What you need:  a Dutch oven or heavy pot, a good knife, crushed red pepper flakes and a microplane to grate garlic and parmesan.

5 from 4 votes
Zuppa Toscana (With Dairy Free Option)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr

A traditional Tuscan meat and potato soup

Course: dinner, Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: diary free soup, Gluten free soup, Italian soup, zuppa Tuscana
Servings: 8 servings
  • 5 strips thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound sweet, mild or hot Italian sausage, casings removed (the heat is up to you!)
  • 2 pounds baby gold potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes  
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or grated
  • 1 medium white onion, diced   
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (if using spicy sausage, please omit)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste 
  • 6 cups good quality chicken broth
  • 1 bunch curly kale, stems removed, leaves chopped (makes about 5-6 cups)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (for dairy free use coconut cream)
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar (or champagne vinegar, or white balsamic) 
  • freshly grated parmesan for garnish (optional)
  1. Cut bacon and squeeze sausage out of casings, set aside. Place a large Dutch oven or stock pot on medium heat and cook bacon until crispy (6-7 minutes) While bacon cooks prep potatoes and garlic.

  2. Place bacon on a plate lined with paper towels. Add sausage to pot and cook using a spatula or wooden spoon to break into pieces. Cook until no longer pink (about 7 minutes) While sausage cooks, chop onions and kale.

  3. When sausage is ready scoop out and place on paper towels with the bacon.

  4. Add potatoes, garlic and onion to the pot with drippings and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly soft (6 to 8 minutes) Add a pinch of red pepper flakes (skip if using spicy sausage), add 2-3 pinches sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

  5. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook until potatoes are just soft (about 10 minutes, check frequently, you don't want them to get mushy)

  6. Add the kale, cream, bacon and sausage to pot and bring to a simmer. Cook until the kale is tender, stirring occasionally for another 5-6 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Ladle into bowls, garnish with freshly grated parmesan if desired.


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