For those of you that follow The Pioneer Woman Cooks, I swear I did not steal her idea. I have been thinking and working on this recipe for a couple weeks. It just so happens that today was the day I planned to make and post the final recipe. So no stealing here....I promise.
I take a mentally handicapped woman out to lunch every couple of weeks. Her favorite place to go? The Olive Garden. I don't love the OG....except for their soup, salad and breadsticks. I always get Zuppa Toscano, a delicious brothy/creamy spicy soup with Italian sausage, kale and potatoes. I usually have several bowls....nom.nom.nom....
My version is gluten and dairy free. I added a little non-hydrogenated butter substitute to give some of the rich flavor you would normally get from the cream or half and half. The result is a near-perfect copy of the OG's...a delicious, satisfying soup that the whole family will love.
Zuppa Toscano Soup (Sausage, Kale and Potato) - GF, DF
1 bunch kale (I used a combination of purple curly and Dinosaur), stems removed, washed and torn into bite-size pieces
5 medium red potatoes, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 lb spicy GF Italian Sausage (turkey sausage could be used)
4 cups almond milk (or regular dairy milk)
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup butter substitute (I used Earth Balance)
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Prepare kale and set aside. Boil the potatoes until tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. In a large dutch oven or pot heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent. Add the garlic and saute an additional 30 seconds.
3. Add the sausage and brown, breaking up the larger pieces (drain off fat, if desired). Add the milk, broth, butter, red pepper and smoked paprika. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Add the potatoes and kale. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately.