Zuppa Toscana used to be one of my absolute favorite dishes at Olive Garden. I recently found this recipe for a copycat soup and it looked so darned good that I decided I needed to try to adapt it to make it gluten free and dairy free! It is, hands down, my favorite soup that I’ve made all season. It’s so good that I immediately wrote down exactly what I did so that I wouldn’t forget it for next time (because, you know, I have a brain like a sieve and that happens much more often than I would care to admit)! It reminds me a lot of the Senate Bean Soup I used to make all the time and loved, but this tastes better than that. I mean, bacon. AND sausage.
I made a huge batch and froze half of it so I could eat through the week and save some for later. Since I recently found out I have an IgG allergy to dairy (!), I needed to use something other than cream. I decided to try the cashew cream that Danielle from Against All Grain uses in her cream of mushroom soup. It adds extra flavor, gives the soup its creaminess and thickens it up a bit. To make it nightshade free, I also substituted white sweet potatoes for white potatoes.
- 2-3 quarts chicken bone broth (or make a quick broth using the method here)
- 1 pound pork sausage or one pound pork + 2 Tbsp Italian sausage seasoning
- ½ pound bacon (from happy pigs!)
- 4 small white sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1′ cubes
- 4 cups finely chopped kale
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste (I did 2 Tbsp salt and 2 tsp pepper)
- 2 cups cashew cream
- Brown the ground pork. Add the spice seasoning and stir to coat. Set aside.
- Cook the bacon in the oven on a tray at 300 until crispy. Allow the bacon to cool and then chop it into small pieces. If it’s bacon from properly raised animals, save the fat from the pan for cooking with later by pouring it through a metal strainer into a small mason jar.
- Add the sweet potatoes to the stock, bring to a gentle boil and turn town to a simmer until potatoes are soft but not quite done.
- While the potatoes are cooking, saute some of the onions in the bacon fat until golden and starting to turn brown on the edges.
- Add the pork, chopped bacon, kale, minced garlic, salt and pepper, bring to a gentle boil again, then turn down the heat and simmer for another 5-10 minutes or until the kale is soft.
- Add the cashew cream, stir to fully incorporate, and then serve.