Zuppa Tuscana…Yes! The soup you love and dread at Olive Garden

This soup is my all time fave!

This soup is my all time fave!

It’s the soup everyone loves because it’s super good but you dread it after because it’s not that healthy for you.  My opinion?  I don’t think the original recipe is that bad.

The soup that I used to devour at Olive Garden but now dread because it’s no bueno.  I probably haven’t been to Olive Garden in a good 5 years!  This is my paleo twist to this all time favorite soup that’s served at Olive Garden.  Credit to the original recipe from a great friend, family and a wonderful cook Victoria R; a great cook can eat something and figure it out in the kitchen to make the closest one and Victoria nailed it!  That’s a real talent in the kitchen!  This is my paleo conversion of this recipe:

– red potatoes>sweet potatoes

– Heavy whipping cream>coconut cream

– chicken bullion>homemade chicken stock

– 6 cups of water>homemade chicken stock

DO NOT BUY STORE BOUGHT BACON BITS!!!

DO NOT BUY STORE BOUGHT BACON BITS!!!

MAKE YOUR OWN BACON BITS...NO STORE BOUGHT!  I throw it in over at 450 degrees until it's crispy.

MAKE YOUR OWN BACON BITS…NO STORE BOUGHT! I throw it in oven at 450 degrees until it’s crispy.

Here’s my Paleo twist:

– 1 big sweet potatoes or 2 small sweet potatoes

– 6 cups of homemade chicken stock or 3 small bags of my ice cubed homemade stock

– homemade bacon bits (the more the merrier!)

– 1/2 tsp red crushed pepper or get the hot italian sausage instead and pass up on the crushed pepper.  the hot italian sausage should have enough heat to suffice.

– 1lb mild or hot italian sausage

– 1 onion (diced)

– 1 whole garlic (minced)

– kale (again, the more the merrier; I load it with extra kale!  make sure to keep the hard spine of the kale.  they are yummy!) – chopped

– 1 can coconut cream (not coco milk; coco cream – there’s a huge difference)

Chopped kale with the hard spine.  The spine is so yummy!!!

Chopped kale with the hard spine. The spine is so yummy!!!

My ice cubed chicken stock.  It's easier to store them when you use this method.

My ice cubed chicken stock. It’s easier to store them when you use this method.

Directions (I also tweaked the direction a bit):

1. Boil homemade chicken stock.  While this is going, on a separate pan cook your italian sausage.  Strain oil from the sausage and throw it back to the pan, add diced onion then after onion is halfway cooked.  Add minced garlic.  Set aside.

2. Pour 1 can of coco cream.  Bring to boil.

3. Add sliced sweet potatoes.  Bring to boil and get sweet potatoes softer before step #4.

4. Add your italian sausage, onion and garlic from the separate pan.  Bring to boil.

5. Add half of your homemade bacon bits.  Save the other half for garnish at time of serving.  See first photo above – this is so good because this way you can feel the bacon crispy bits land your pallet and the texture is so amazing!  Bring it to boil.

6. Turn off stove and throw your chopped kale in then cover your pot and just leave it sitting on top of that same warm stove for about 10 minutes until kale is cooked perfectly. (this method will keep your kale crispy)

Coco cream and this is how you chop your sweet potatoes.  Chunky.

Coco cream and this is how you chop your sweet potatoes. Chunky.

Another shot of the finished products before the bacon bits garnish.

Another shot of the finished products before the bacon bits garnish.

I hope you love this paleo conversion as much as I do!  I make a big pot and literally would eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner until it’s gone!  Any questions, I’m always down – ask away!

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About Kareen Mills

Background in real estate investing, insurance and financial services including banking & lending in both consumer and commercial for 15+ years. She is forever a student and an addict of personal development who reads 1 book a week.
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