Gluten-free, dairy-free, low carb, DELICIOUS!!!
This is my healthy riff on the Olive Garden classic Zuppa Toscana – a cream and potato-based soup with similar fixins, but a whole lot more calories (and in my case, inflammation…sigh).
DISCLAIMER: Because apparently I cook like I’m feeding an army (ha!), the ingredient quantities below are for a “double-batch” (i.e. 2 large stock pots worth of soup), so you’ll split all the ingredients across each pot. For example, when I say 1/2 tsp of salt, it’s actually 1/4 tsp per pot. 😉
Also, real talk: I like to make things in bulk so that I can freeze some for later and IMO, if I’m gonna spend all that time chopping and prepping, I want to get more than 3 meals out of it. TEAM EFFICIENCY OVER HERE!! 👊🏻
Lastly, I didn’t take photos (because, honestly, food blogging isn’t my jam and I totally forgot), so you’ll just have to imagine how freaking AMAZING this soup looks, let alone how incredibly flavorful it tastes (wink, wink)! But if you’re a visual person like me, click here for photos that look similar to my recipe.
1.5-2 lbs Italian sausage (pork or chicken – either version tastes great!)
6 strips of thick cut bacon (cook whole, then chop)
2 white/yellow onions, chopped
8-10 cloves garlic, minced
10 large carrots, peeled + chopped
4 heads of cauliflower, chopped* (or approx. 1.5 bags of pre-chopped from Costco) *reserve 4 cups for pureeing with broth
2 bunches dino/tuscan kale or green kale (I do 1 of each!), de-stemmed + coarsely chopped
Fresh sage, 12 leaves coarsely chopped (yields approx. 1/3 cup)
Fresh rosemary, 4-6 stems; de-stem the leaves, then coarsely chop (yields approx. 1/3 cup)
Fresh thyme, several sprigs; de-stem the leaves (yields approx. 2 tbsp)
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
5 containers (32 oz) chicken broth – I use the Trader Joe’s Organic Free Range (regular, not low-sodium) from the dry goods aisle
4 packages (20 oz) chicken bone broth – I use the Trader Joe’s Organic Free Range (in refrigerated section)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Steam 4 cups (approx. 1.5 heads) of chopped cauliflower; set aside + into large mixing bowl.
Cook bacon in sauté pan; set aside on paper towel (chop once cooled).
Drain most of the bacon grease, then return pan to burner on med-high heat and brown Italian sausage, breaking it up with a spatula as it cooks; set aside.
In each stock pot, drizzle with 1 TBSP EVOO then sauté onion, carrots and garlic along with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.
Once garlic and onions are fragrant (and/or onions are “sweating”) add in fresh herbs and chopped kale; stir until kale is wilted.
Add in cooked sausage and bacon, stirring into veggie mixture.
Add chicken stock + bone broth; bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add raw chopped cauliflower (not the 4 cups you steamed earlier), stir into mixture, then cover with lid, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until cauliflower is easily pierced with a fork.
While the soup is simmering, scoop out 1 cup of broth from each pot (2 cups total), avoiding the food bits as much as possible. Add broth to the steamed cauliflower, then blend/puree using an immersion blender, regular blender, magic bullet, food processor, etc. until you get a nice creamy consistency. (FYI: I use an immersion blender in a large bowl). You want to blend/puree the mixture until it’s a thick, creamy consistency (almost like extra creamy mashed potatoes).
Once the soup is done, turn off heat and remove lid, then stir in the pureed cauliflower-broth mixture (1/2 goes into each pot). This is the final step and will give the soup a nice creamy base that’s dairy free!!
e n j o y !
(and if you do make it, let me know what you think!!)
S A D Y E