Johnson’s Italian Toscana Soup

Fresh Produce at Johnson Farms in Eugene, Oregon

A leaner version of Olive Garden’s “Zuppa Toscana.”

Serves 6-8


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 strips bacon, fat removed, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, pureed
  • 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 2 leaves of kale, stem removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 pint half and half
  • Dash of crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large cooking pot, boil the potatoes until almost tender. Drain the potatoes and set aside the water for later use.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix the turkey, red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper if using.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a sauce pan and brown the turkey mixture with the bacon over high heat for 2-3 minutes, crumbling the meat into preferred sized clumps.
  4. In the cooking pot, sauté the onion, garlic and kale with 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the potatoes, turkey mixture, and chicken broth to the cooking pot and stir over medium high until bubbly. Add the half and half and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste, serve hot.

Notes: The water from boiling the potatoes can be used to thicken the soup.