Whole30 Zuppa Toscana

Posted by Karin on January 28, 2021
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Zuppa Toscana in a bowl

Whole30 friendly, made in one pot, and full of hearty vegetables, this homemade Zuppa Toscana recipe is the perfect weeknight comfort food!

When we were little, my mother made often made Zuppa Toscana for dinner. Now, when the craving hits, I remember the heat of the sausage, creaminess of the broth, and of course, the kind of potatoes that you can’t get enough of! So, with these flavors in mind, I set out to make a Whole30 compliant recipe that tastes just as good as the original. Now, it’s one of my family’s favorite dinners, and they ask for it by name. Even better, my little ones can’t even taste the vegetables. I’d say that makes this recipe a success. Wouldn’t you?

To start, drizzle avocado oil in the bottom of a dutch oven or a heavy bottom pan. When the oil is warm, brown the sausage. When cooked, remove the meat with a slotted spoon, and set it aside. Use the same pot to crisp the bacon. After it has cooked to your liking, put the bacon aside with the sausage. 

whole30 zuppa toscana with kale
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Now, sauté the onions in the bacon reserves. Let them cook for about 3-4 minutes or until they are translucent. (Be sure not to skip this step as it adds tons of flavor to your dish!) When the onions are soft and clear, add in garlic. Stir quickly, and be careful not to let it burn! Once the garlic has become fragrant and turned a golden-yellow color, add in Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. 

Slowly add the broth to the pot with the onions and garlic. Then, bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and bring the ingredients to a boil once again. Let the potatoes cook until they are tender. (This usually takes around 10 minutes). 

After the potatoes are soft, reduce the heat to a simmer. Add in coconut milk and sausage. Once the mixture is heated, add in the kale long enough for it to wilt. Finally, top your Zuppa Toscana with bacon bits and any additional seasonings!

Why You Should Eat Kale:

As you probably know, kale is a nutritional powerhouse when it comes to food. Just one cup contains 33 calories and only 7 grams of carbs. Plus, it is packed full of vitamins and nutrients including Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese, and more! This vegetable often gets a bad wrap for having a bitter flavor. Yet, did you know simply massaging it (yes, literally massaging it with your hands) for just a minute or two helps to break down some of the fibrous materials? As a result, it is easier to chew and digest. Plus, it loses most of its bitter flavor. 

kale varieties
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Furthermore, not a commonly known fact, there are different varieties of kale. The most common type is called Curly kale. This kale has ruffly green leaves and an almost peppery taste. However, consumers can also find Dinosaur kale, Redbor kale, and Russian kale. Each variety looks and tastes slightly different, but they are all equally healthy options! 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What should I serve with Whole30 Zuppa Toscana?

Given that it contains meats, starches, and vegetables, Whole30 Zuppa Toscana can absolutely be served on its own as a meal. However, if you’re looking for side dishes for a hungry family or get together, I love to add even more veggies in with recipes like Sautéed Baby Bok Choy. Or, if you’re looking for something a little more comforting, these Perfect Popovers are a super easy and delicious companion. I love to dip them in the soup! 


How long will Zuppa Toscana last? 

When stored in an airtight container in the fridge, Whole30 Zuppa Toscana can be safely stored in the fridge for about 2-3 days. However, I prefer to make a large batch and keep half of it in the freezer! When frozen, Whole30 Zuppa Toscana can last up to 3-6 months. Then, on nights when you’re in a pinch, all you have to do for a delicious and healthy meal is let the soup thaw!


Can I substitute the kale in Zuppa Toscana?

If kale just isn’t your thing, you can absolutely substitute it in this Whole30 Zuppa Toscana recipe. I recommend adding spinach instead. However, any dark, leafy green should work. In fact, if you’re cooking on a budget or trying to buy local, take a look at this chart to learn what fruits and vegetables are in season. 


Is Zuppa Toscana Gluten-Free?

Yes, Whole Zuppa Toscana is a gluten-free recipe! 


Can I make Zuppa Toscana without pork?

While the recipe would no longer be traditional Zuppa Toscana, pork substitutions can be made. If you want to replace the bacon, opt for turkey or soy bacon. Or, if you want to replace the sausage, feel free to use any chicken or vegetarian varieties you prefer. You could even omit the sausage altogether or use tofu instead. However, I do not recommend removing the bacon from the recipe as it adds flavor to the rest of the dish. Also, be aware that altering the ingredients will result in a slightly different taste than the original recipe, and seasonings may not be adjusted.

Of course, if you make this recipe, I’d love to see your creation! Did you make any changes? Do you have a side-dish I need to know about? Let me know below!

Until next time, enjoy. Stay cozy, my friends! 

Zuppa Toscana in a bowl
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Whole30 Zuppa Toscana

Course: Soup

Ingredients

  • 6 Slices of Whole30 compliant bacon (I used this one)- chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 Medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 lb Italian sausage- I made mine with 1 lb pork and half of this seasoning mixture
  • 3 Medium yellow potatoes chopped – red potatoes are also a great as they have a low starch content and won't make your soup too thick
  • 2 tbsp Fresh garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 32 oz Compliant chicken stock (I used this one)
  • 1 Small bunch of kale, stems removed
  • 1 Can of coconut milk mixed (I use the emersion blender in to incorporate both solids and liquids)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste (I used about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper)

Instructions

  • Using a drizzle of avocado oil in the bottom of a dutch oven or heavy bottom pan, brown the sausage. When finished, remove with slotted spoon and set aside
  • In the same pot, crisp up the bacon. Should take about 10 or so minutes. Remove the bacon and set aside. Using the bacon reserves, sauté the onions until they are nearly transluscent (3-4 minutes), then add in the garlic; carefully stirring to avoid the garlic burning
  • Add the Italian seasoning and salt and pepper
  • Slowly add the broth into the pot with the garlic and onion; bring to a boil over high heat. Then add the potatoes and bring to a boil again, until the fork tender (probably about 10 or so minutes)
  • Reduce heat to a simmer, stir in coconut milk and sausage; heat through. Slowly add in the kale just before serving, but giving it a chance to wilt slightly.
  • Top with crispy bacon bits and taste to add any additional salt or pepper
  • Enjoy!
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Karin with her first 2 boys

I’m Karin (Ka-Rin), a cooking, photography and interior design enthusiast sharing my love of delicious food, humor, pretty things and capturing beauty in everyday moments.

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