Fall is now upon us and I thought it fitting to share a recipe for a hearty soup. Last night my husband said he was craving a savory soup called Zuppa Toscana he used to eat at a chain restaurant called Olive Garden. While I have never had the soup myself, I did some researching and was determined to come up with a healthy version of this nostalgic stew to nourish and fill our bellies. Watching my husband fill his bowl with seconds leads me to believe I did something right.
1 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
1 lb ground beef or pork sausage (or see notes below and make your own, like I did)
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp smoked sea salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes
8 cups high quality beef or chicken stock (make your own)
4-6 gold potatoes, diced
4 cups kale, stemmed and torn into pieces
1 cup full fat coconut milk (see notes)
salt + pepper, to taste
In a large dutch oven or stockpot melt ghee over medium heat. Add in sausage and cook until browned. Next throw in your diced onions, paprika, smoked sea salt, and red pepper flakes and cook until onions soften. Add in crushed garlic and saute until fragrant. Pour in your stock and potatoes. Bring soup to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer until potatoes are almost cooked through, about 15 minutes. Next add kale. Then slowly stir in the coconut milk. Continue to stir until kale is wilted and potatoes are cooked through. Season to taste with salt + pepper. Serve!
Make your own sausage by adding the following seasonings to 1 lb ground pork or beef: 1/2 tbsp oregano, 1/2 tbsp rosemary, 1/2 tbsp thyme.
A note on coconut milk: Try to get a coconut milk without any gums, stabilizers, or preservatives. I found mine in the frozen section of my local international market. When adding the milk to the soup, be sure the heat isn’t too high (medium low works fine) and that you are stirring frequently after adding. This ensures the fats and the proteins in the coconut milk will stay bonded, rather than curdling and separating.