Back in the day, when I was in college and Olive Garden was one of the few places in my small college town we could get dinner, one of my favorite cheap eats was a bowl of their Zuppa Toscana soup. It was creamy, filling, and comforting in the winter. I loved the spiciness of the sausage combined with the creamy, balancing soup base. But of course, it’s not as healthy as it looks with the greens floating in it. Here i’ve created a delicious Whole30 rendition that’s just as delicious but way healthier. Now, traditional Zuppa Toscana contains beans, which are obviously not Whole30, but all you have to do is omit them or include them if you like. It won’t make a difference in the flavor, the soup is just lighter without the beans. But it’s hearty and filling, so enjoy on one of these fabulous cool evenings we’ve been having! It’s also just a wonderful change from all the typical soups (thought I love them all-soup is life). Check out my
1 pound sausage, mild
2 potatoes, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 onion, diced
2 cups kale or spinach
1 can cannellini beans (optional-Omit to keep Whole30)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp thyme
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil on a medium high heat while you dice your onion, celery, and potato if you haven’t already (I highly recommend having things chopped and measured BEFORE you ever turn a burner on, it moves things along so much smoother). Set the veggies aside.
- First, add your onion, celery, and potatoes to the heated pan. Cook on medium high for about 6-8 min, just until the onion and celery begin to turn translucent. The potatoes will have begun to soften, but don’t worry if they aren’t cooked through.
- Next, add your sausage into the mixture and begin to brown. About another 8 min. Make sure to break up the sausage into crumbles as it cooks using your cooking spoon. Depending on the sausage you use, you will probably have to drain the mixture of any grease.
- Add in all the dry spices and toss with the veggie and meat mixture. Cook about 2 min, until spices become fragrant.
- Add in your broth and almond milk, along with beans if you are not omitting, and stir. After 15 min, add in the kale and cook an additional 5-10 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through. Allow to cool before serving. Salt and pepper to taste.
Chef’s Notes: Cook times depend on how big or small you dice your potatoes. The smaller the dice, the less cook time. I try to find an unseasoned sausage or a mild one. Spicy sausage is fine, but omit the red pepper flakes if you choose that route. I find spicy sausage overwhelms the flavor and prefer to use a natural, compliant sausage. But it’s your preference, find what’s available to you, taste as you go, and adjust as needed.