January 3, 2024Review Recipe
Table of Contents
If you are craving a heartwarming and flavorsome meal that practically cooks itself, look no further than this slow cooker Tuscan soup. Its delightful blend of Italian sausage, aromatic herbs, and creamy textures creates an experience that transports you straight to Italy with every savory spoonful.
Slow Cooker Tuscan Soup Ingredients
- 1½ pounds of sweet or spicy Italian sausage
- 1 yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of garlic, minced
- 2 (32-ounce) boxes of chicken broth
- 2 (28-ounce) cans of crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 cup of heavy cream or half-n-half milk
- 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese plus more for topping
- 1 (16-ounce) box of penne pasta
- 2 cups of kale, roughly chopped
Substitutions And Additions
ITALIAN SAUSAGE: For a vegetarian twist in this creamy soup, consider substituting Italian-style plant-based sausages. They can provide a similar depth of flavor and hearty texture.
KALE: Swap out kale for spinach or Swiss chard if desired. These greens offer a milder flavor.
PARMESAN CHEESE: Experiment with pecorino Romano cheese for a bolder, slightly tangy twist on the traditional parmesan.
HEAVY CREAM: Opt for a lighter version by using half-and-half or whole milk. This adjustment will retain creaminess while reducing the richness.
PENNE PASTA: Embrace variations by using other pasta shapes like farfalle or rigatoni, altering the texture and appearance of the soup.
BEANS: You could also add beans to your sausage soup to make this soup extra hearty.
How To Make This Slow Cooker Tuscan Soup Recipe
STEP ONE: In a large pan, add the sausage, onion, and garlic. Roughly chop while the sausage is cooking. Cook over medium-high heat until the sausage is completely cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes.
If you have a slow cooker with a sear setting, go ahead and saute your sausage, onions, and garlic in your slow cooker, then proceed with the recipe. This allows you to omit the use of an additional pan.
STEP TWO: Once the sausage is cooked, remove it from heat and drain excess grease.
STEP THREE: In a 6-quart slow cooker, add the chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, cooked sausage, and all of the seasonings.
STEP FOUR: Add the lid onto the slow cooker and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4 to 5 hours.
STEP FIVE: Add the heavy cream, shredded parmesan cheese, and penne and cook for another 20 minutes.
STEP SIX: Then add chopped kale and cook another ten minutes.
STEP SEVEN: Once cooked, serve and garnish with more cheese.
How To Serve
Transform the soup into an elegant dinner by pairing it with a tomato cucumber salad vinaigrette. The freshness of the salad will harmonize with the hearty soup.
MAKE AHEAD: While this Italian soup is best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the sausage, onion, and garlic mixture in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days before assembling the rest of the soup.
IN THE FRIDGE: Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three to four days.
Reheat portions in a microwave or on the stovetop, stirring occasionally until heated through.
IN THE FREEZER: To freeze this delicious soup, let it cool completely before transferring to freezer-safe containers or bags.
It can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
REHEATING: Reheat the soup on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
Alternatively, microwave individual portions in 1-minute intervals, stirring in between.
Slow cooker Tuscan soup encapsulates the art of Italian comfort in a single bowl. Its blend of flavors and textures, is achieved effortlessly through the magic of slow cooking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Feel free to experiment with your favorite pasta shapes in this slow cooker recipe, but keep in mind that cooking times may vary.
Fresh kale is recommended for its texture and flavor, but if you’re using frozen kale, make sure to thaw and drain it before adding it to the soup.
While the slow cooker brings out the best flavors, you can certainly adapt this recipe for stovetop cooking. Adjust cooking times as needed.
Turkey or chicken sausage can be used as a leaner alternative to the hot or sweet Italian sausage.
Vegetable broth can be used for a vegetarian version of this soup.
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Slow Cooker Tuscan Soup
- 1½ pounds sweet or spicy Italian sausage
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 64 ounces chicken broth (two 32-ounce boxes)
- 56 ounces crushed tomatoes (two 28-ounce cans)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream, or half-n-half
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- 16 ounces penne Pasta
- 2 cups kale, roughly chopped
- In a large pan, add the sausage, onion, and garlic. Roughly chop while the sausage is cooking. Cook over medium-high heat until the sausage is completely cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Once the sausage is cooked, remove it from the heat and drain the excess grease.
- In a 6-quart slow cooker, add the chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, cooked sausage, and all of the seasonings.
- Add the lid onto the slow cooker and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4 to 5 hours.
- Add the heavy cream, shredded parmesan cheese, and penne and cook for another 20 minutes.
- Then add chopped kale and cook for another ten minutes.
- Once cooked, serve and garnish with more cheese.
- If you have a slow cooker with a sear setting, go ahead and saute your sausage, onions, and garlic in your slow cooker then proceed with the recipe. This allows you to omit the use of an additional pan.