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Olive Garden Soups – Flavorful Zuppa Toscana

Olive Garden Soups – Flavorful Zuppa Toscana

Olive Garden soups are an American favorite, but instead of paying a high price to eat them, lets make them at home with this flavorful Zuppa Toscana soup recipe together.

olive garden soups zuppa toscana in a bowl topped with mushrooms and sourdough bread

Zuppa Toscana soup is typically flavored with a few key ingredients like potatoes, kale, Italian sausage, and milk. It’s a creamy and broth rich soup that only takes a few key ingredients to create. Well, what sets this recipe apart from the rest is it’s made without meat.

1 cup lentils being added to zuppa toscana soup cozy lentil soup for fall.

Why Meatless Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe?

There’s a simple answer, it’s cheaper! Here at Eating Healthy Spending Less our goal is to bring you the cheapest and healthiest recipes we can provide to help you meet your financial goals. The fact is, meat is a huge money sucker and lentils are not. You can get 1 pound of lentils for about $1.00. Lentils are packed full of protein making this Olive Garden Soups recipe worth every penny! You will definitely want to add this Zuppa Toscana soup recipe to your meal plan.

fal organic fennel in fall soup zuppa toscana

How To Make Olive Garden Soups – Flavorful Zuppa Toscana

  • In a large soup pot, saute onion, celery, and fennel.
  • When the onions and fennel have a nice color on them, then add garlic, potatoes, lentils, herbs, and broth/water.
  • Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Add chopped kale to the soup and cook an additional 5 minutes.
  • Turn the heat off, add salt and pepper to flavor the soup.
  • Add milk to the soup and stir well.
  • Top each bowl of soup with sauteed mushrooms and red pepper flakes.
dried herbs in mortar and pistol for cozy fall zuppa toscana soup

To kick up the flavor to this Olive Garden soup recipe without adding sausage, we need to use dried herbs. The most flavorful herbs in this soup are definitely the fennel and rosemary. The other herbs like thyme and basil play a huge role too, and they all work as a symphony together. To really extract all those flavors, I like to use a mortar and pestle. I purchased mine at World Market for about $8.00. I use mine all the time and it’s a great investment to your kitchen. To really give this Olive Garden soups recipe a flavor burst, grind your herbs.

Zuppa Toscana Instant Pot Soup

Zuppa Toscana soup can easily be made using the Instant Pot. Put all the ingredients, minus the kale, soy milk, mushrooms and red pepper flakes into the Instant Pot and cook on MANUAL high pressure for 10 minutes. Either do a quick release after a 10 minute rest, or naturally release. Turn the Instant Pot to SAUTE and add the chopped kale. Cook the kale for 5 to 10 minutes, or until tender, then add the milk. Serve with the mushrooms and red pepper flakes. It’s that easy to make Zuppa Toscana soup in the Instant Pot.

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Olive Garden soups recipe zuppa toscana recipe

Meatless Zuppa Toscana Soup

Homemaker On A Budget
Zuppa Toscana soup is a hearty soup during the fall and winter months, yet light enough to enjoy year round. You will not miss the meat in this recipe as the lentils provide protein and the herbs give off tons of flavor. Enjoy this budget friendly soup.


  • 1 medium size onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 bulb fennel, chopped chop like an onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups sliced yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils, rinsed
  • 1 carton vegetable broth (3 cups)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 3 cups soy milk or dairy milk, almond milk, or cashew milk
  • 1 pound crimini or white button mushrooms
  • red pepper flakes (optional)


  • In a large soup pot, saute onion, celery, and fennel for 10 minutes.
  • (Optional, but highly suggest) Grind dried herbs into a powder with a mortar and pestle, but a coffee grinder works too. This is not a necessary step, but I think it adds more flavor to the soup.
  • Add garlic, dried herbs, potatoes, lentils, broth and water.
  • Cover pot and cook for 15 minutes.
  • While the soup cooks, saute 1 pound of sliced mushrooms until cooked through and lightly golden brown on both sides. Lightly salt the mushrooms as they cook. Use as a garnish to your soup.
  • Lift the lid and add the chopped kale. Replace the lid and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until lentils are soft.
  • Turn the heat off and add the milk, stir well. Taste and season to achieve the right amount of salt and pepper.
  • Serve soup with sliced mushrooms on top and lightly sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Enjoy!


*Instant Pot Instructions: add all the ingredients, except the kale, soy milk, mushrooms, and red pepper flakes to the Instant Pot. Cook on MANUAL high pressure for 10 minutes. Once it’s done cooking, either let it come down in pressure on its own, or after 10 minutes you can do a quick release. Add the kale to the soup and saute for 5-10 minutes, or until it’s tender, then add the milk and stir. Serve soup with sliced mushrooms on top and lightly sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

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