The Olive Garden classic Zuppa Toscana recipe remade to be dairy free and Whole30 compliant. This creamy soup relies on nutrient dense cauliflower and cashews for it’s creamy base, but is loaded with the classic flavors and textures of the original sausage, kale and potato soup!
A Whole30 Zuppa Toscana Recipe
This recipe has been photographed 4 times now! It’s so good, I keep wanting to improve how it looks.
The first time I ever made this soup, it was -14 F outside, and the snow was falling so hard that I had no light left once the pot was ready to photograph.
I’ve served this soup at large gatherings, and while no one can quite guess what the base is made of, there’s a concensus that this version is better than the cream-based version.
My secret: cauliflower cashew cream.
Super easy to make. Soak cashews overnight, and drain. If you don’t have time for this step, simply soak them for an hour in very hot water.
Steam cauliflower, and then puree in a blender with the cashews until a very smooth cream sauce is formed. This cauliflower cashew cream is a perfect base to make any cream-based soup healthier.
Sausage, Potatoes and Kale
The main ingredients in this soup are sausage, potatoes and kale = winter soup heaven!
These are all healthy ingredients in themselves. What makes the restaurant version of this so high calorie is the fat laden cream base.
I lighten this version up by using chicken sausage, but if you prefer pork sausage, go with that.
If you’re wanting to make this soup Whole30 compliant, be careful about the sausage that you choose. I buy mine from Whole Foods — simple ingredients, just sausage, spices and sea salt. Plus, it has so much flavor.
I adore kale in soups because it’s such a hearty green. It maintains a somewhat firm texture, even after being cooked down for quite a while.
Tips for Creamy Sausage Potato Kale Soup
- The flavor of this soup comes primarily from the chicken sausage– so you need to use a good sausage that you enjoy. I’ve been making this with Whole Food’s Italian chicken sausage (from the meat counter), and it’s amazing.
- A bowl of the Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana packs in a total of 1100 calories! Yikes. And that’s a “starter”? This soup comes in at 300 calories for a large bowl, and is packed with protein, vitamins A and C, calcium and iron.
Whole30 Zuppa Toscana
An Olive Garden copycat version of Zuppa Toscana. This dreamy smooth soup is made with a blend of cauliflower and cashews instead of dairy, upping the nutrient content and keeping it light. It's the perfect winter soup to warm up to.
- 6 cups cauliflower roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup cashews soaked overnight, drained
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 pound Italian chicken sausage or sub pork
- 6 cups water or chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon vegetable bouillon omit if using chicken stock
- 1 1/2 pounds potatoes peeled and cubed
- 1 bunch kale lacinato or curly kale
- sea salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
Soak cashews overnight, and drain when ready to use. If there isn't time for this step, soak cashews in boiling water for an hour.
Steam cauliflower over medium to medium high heat for 15 minutes.
Add steamed cauliflower and cashews to a blender with 1/2 cup water. Process until mixture is very smooth and creamy, about 1 minute in a Vitamix or similar blender, or 2-3 minutes in a standard blender.
In a soup pot, add olive oil, and chopped onion and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes over medium heat until onions are softened, but do not brown the onions (it turns the creamy white base brown).
Add sausage, and continue to sauté until sausage starts to brown, about 5-7 more minutes.
Add water and vegetable bouillon or chicken broth.
Add peeled potatoes, cut into diced sized cubes. Bring to a boil, and continue to simmer for another 15-20 minutes.
Destem the kale, and add to cook for the last 5 or 10 minutes.
Mix in the cauliflower cashew cream. Season with sea salt and pepper, if necessary. The sausage adds a lot of flavor so additional seasonings aren't necessary.
Any sausage will work in this recipe. I love Whole Foods ground chicken sausage because it isn't packed with sodium, and has no weird ingredients- just organic chicken and spices.
Other Whole30 Soup Recipes:
- Coconut Thai Chicken Zoodle Soup, by The Endless Meal
- Creamy Tomato Basil Soup, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Roasted Butternut Turkey Chili, by Sunkissed Kitchen
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