Zuppa Toscana

Creamy Italian Sausage Soup

This soup is similar to Zuppa Toscana at Olive Garden restaurants, but mine has diced cauliflower standing in for potatoes.  I tend to use ground pork rather than Italian sausage, as I can control spices and salt doing that.  You just need to add oregano, fennel and garlic really.  But you can certainly substitute in commercial Italian sausage if you prefer for convenience.  It will almost DOUBLE the sodium and increase carbs though.   Just be aware of that.  This soups is delicious and we both gave it a resounding thumbs up.  It will make the rounds at our house. 🙂

VARIATIONS:  Substitute 1/2 c. chopped parsley for the kale; substitute diced rutabaga for the cauliflower.

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INGREDIENTS:

6 slices bacon, cut into 3/4″ bits

12 oz.  lean ground pork, coarsely broken up to 1/2″ chunks

2 oz. onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1½ c. coarsely chopped kale (about 3 leaves after stemming)

3 oz. cauliflower, diced to ½”-3/4″ pieces

1 oz. pimiento (half a 2 oz. jar)

3 large mushrooms, sliced or cut however you like

4 c. homemade chicken broth (32 oz.)

1 c. water

1 c. heavy cream

Dash black pepper

Dash crushed red pepper

3-4 drops Tobasco (or other hot sauce)

¼ tsp. dried oregano leaves

½ tsp. fennel seed, crushed

DIRECTIONS:  In a large dutch oven over high heat, cook the bacon.  Add the pork, onion and garlic and saute until meat is no longer pink.  Lower heat to medium.  Add all remaining ingredients but the cream.  Simmer 5 minutes.  Add cream and simmer 5 more minutes.  Thicken with xanthan or gum if desired.   Serve at once.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes six 1-1¼c. servings, each contains:

356 calories, 30.5 g fat, 5.51 g carbs, 1.08 g fiber, 4.43 g NET CARBS, 15.6 g protein, 865 mg sodium

 

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