Zuppa Toscana Soup (Stove Top and Instant Pot)
I've been making this soup for over 10 years now! I'm surprised it has taken my this long to post my recipe. Before I went gluten-free and dairy-free to heal my gut (and before I knew any better), my now-husband and I often went on lunch dates to Olive Garden when I was in college. I loved the soup and salad, especially the Zuppa Toscana. Once I got serious about my gut healing, I could no longer risk the questionable ingredients and cross-contamination but loving the soup so much, I decided to make my own modified version.
10 years ago there were barely any milk alternatives (basically just shelf stable soy and rice milk). I made mine with shelf-stable almond milk, which was a newer product at the time, and it was still delicious, but now with a plethora of alternative milks it can be even better if you need to avoid dairy. I use NutPods for it's neutral taste but still creamy consistency, but your favorite neutral tasting creamer will do. With gut healing, I have been able to add dairy back in so I use organic grass-fed heavy cream now.
Stove Top Zuppa Toscana
4 pieces bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lb Italian sausage, crumbled is best but sliced will also work (Note: one time I made it with Chorizo because it was all I had and it was delicious)
1 white onion, diced
1 tsp crushed red chili pepper flakes
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups bone broth
3 large, or 4-5 small to medium, potatoes, sliced 1/8-inch thick
4 cups packed kale, destemmed and chopped
1 cup heavy cream or dairy alternative
Salt to taste (sometimes I don't need it at all depending on the bacon, sausage and broth)
Stove Top Instructions:
In a large soup pot, cook the bacon until it is extra crispy. It is very important that it is very crispy otherwise it will turn gummy when added to the soup. Set the bacon aside, but leave the fat in the pot.
Add the onion, garlic, sausage, and red pepper flakes to the bacon fat and cook over medium-high heat until onions start to become translucent and sausage is cooked through.
Add the bone broth and bring to a boil.
Add the potatoes, bring to a boil, and then cover and cook on low until potatoes are soft (about 25 minutes).
Add kale, bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until kale is cooked down to your liking.
Remove from heat and stir in the extra crispy bacon and cream.
Add salt to taste, if needed.
Instant Pot Instructions:
Turn on the saute function, and saute the bacon until it is extra crispy. Set the bacon aside, leaving the fat in the pot.
Add the onion, garlic, sausage, and red pepper flakes to the bacon fat and saute until the sausage is cooked through.
Add the broth, potatoes, and kale
Use the soup function (I think the default is 30 minutes on high) and follow manufacturer instructions.
Once the soup is done and pressure has been released, give the soup a really good stir to break up the potatoes a bit.
Stir in the extra crispy bacon and cream.
Add salt to taste, if needed.