As a bonus, it’s a great way to stretch your meat and get more nourishing chicken stock into your day! Plus it’s full of healthy greens.
Zuppa Toscana is literally translated as Tuscan Soup. This soup is hardly close to being authentic and I’m doubtful if it is served in Tuscany but when it tastes this good it’s hard to care.
I love creating copycat recipes with a nourishing twist! I’ve done it previously with Chick-fil-A strips, nuggets, and sauce, as well as several Starbucks drinks. Zuppa Toscana hardly requires healthifying though.
One of the things I love about this soup is how customizable it is! Need it to be low carb no problem. Dairy-free? You can do that too!
Real Food Zuppa Toscana
The main things that make this soup a “real food” version are nitrate-free meat, mostly organic ingredients, healthy fat, and bone broth. I could be wrong but usually, restaurants that use high-quality ingredients want to let you know. Besides that, the original is already pretty good for you. When I’m at Olive Garden that is my go-to pick, even though I can recreate it at home.
Want to make it low carb?
If you crave the flavors of this soup but are trying to reduce your carbs and up your curusifis vegetable content you can swap the potatoes for cauliflower. Is the flavor and texture going to be 100% the same? No, but it is still a tasty option. Regardless if you are eating keto or not, cauliflower is a tasty addition.
Want to make it dairy-free?
Avoiding dairy shouldn’t hold you back from enjoying Zuppa Toscana, swap the milk or cream for full-fat coconut milk. Like substituting cauliflower for potatoes, the flavor does change some, but not too much.
An option that I haven’t tried is making or buying cashew cream and using that in place of the milk but I haven’t tried it yet, so that is just a guess. If you have done tried it please let me know!
Want to make it pork-free?
Homemade Italian turkey or chicken sausage is so easy to make! If you still want bacon, try looking for nitrate-free turkey bacon at places like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or even Costco.
Does it freeze well?
Potatoes aren’t known for freezing well. They tend to get mealy and fall apart when defrosted and reheating. Dairy can have an odd texture when defrosted as well. Have I done it before? Yup! It wasn’t nearly as good as it was fresh, but it made for a quick and healthy last-minute lunch to take to work so it’s your call.
Real Food Zuppa Toscana Soup
- 4 slices of bacon
- 1 pound of Italian sausage
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon unrefined salt
- 1 onion, finely minced
- 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 3 quarts chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup whole milk
- 6 red potatoes, sliced
- 1 bunch of kale, finely minced
- Grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- Cook your italian sausage in a soup pot over medium heat until completely cooked and crumbly. Remove and set aside.
- Fry the bacon in the soup pot until almost crispy. Remove from the pot and set aside leaving the grease in the pot.
- Add the onions and garlic to the soup pot and cook until soft stirring occasionally. While the onions and garlic and cooking, chop the bacon into tiny pieces.
- Pour in the chicken stock an add the potatoes.
- Put the lid on the pot and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are just almost soft. Add the kale and cook for 10 minutes, or until soft.
- Pour in the milk stirring slowly.
- Add the Italian sausage, salt and pepper.
- Return to a simmer and then turn off the heat.
- Serve into individual bowls, garnish with the bacon crumbles and grated parmaesan cheese.