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Five Monsters Zuppa Toscana

Updated: 2 days ago

Our paleo version of a warming, cozy, Italian-inspired favorite.

For the printable recipe PDF click here.

You don't have to spend long on Pinterest to know "healthed up" versions of creamy, delicious Zuppa Toscana abound.

This is the version we've been making ever since our first Whole30 several years ago. It's nothing novel, but it sure fills the belly well when the air starts to get nippy--and it gets picky monsters eating their kale!

Let's talk potatoes: I prefer to use Yukon gold potatoes in this recipe for a couple of reasons. First, they are easier to work with and do not need to be peeled. Secondly, the monsters and I find their creamy, silky texture super-pleasant to bite into in this chunky soup.

My husband, on the other hand, prefers russets for two reasons. First, they are cheaper. Secondly, their starchiness can help to thicken the broth, enhancing its creaminess. Personally, I find their mealiness a little unpleasant in this application, but it's good to know your options.

Speaking of options, for a lower-carb, more keto-friendly version, you could swap out the potatoes with cauliflower florets; or do a mix of both to keep things interesting!

We like to make our own Italian sausage mixture with ground turkey, but any sort of paleo-friendly Italian sausage should work.

This hearty soup will have a creamy-yet-brothy texture and mouthfeel. If you want to thicken it up a bit more, transfer some of the cooked potatoes and broth to a blender before returning the meat and adding the kale. Blend the transferred potatoes and broth till completely smooth, then stir back into the pot and add the remaining ingredients!

Here's what you'll need:

For the Italian sausage:

  • 1 lb 85% fat ground turkey

  • 1 T coarse kosher salt

  • 20 cranks black pepper

  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 tsp dried parsley

  • 1 tsp basil

  • 2 tsp oregano

  • 2 tsp fennel seeds

  • 1 tsp dried rosemary

  • 1 T onion powder

  • 2 tsp garlic powder

  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar

For the Zuppa:

  • 6 slices bacon, chopped up

  • 1 lb Italian sausage (see above)

  • 5 lbs yukon gold potatoes, chopped into 1-inch (or smaller) chunks

  • 4 quarts chicken stock

  • 1 T coarse kosher salt

  • ½ tsp garlic powder

  • ½ tsp dried oregano

  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

  • 6-8 oz chopped kale leaves

  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans full-fat coconut milk

Here's what you'll do:

  1. Make the sausage: Place the ground turkey in a medium-sized bowl. Place the next 8 ingredients (salt-rosemary) in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, and crush till the fennel seeds and rosemary have been ground down a good bit. Add the spice mixture, along with the remaining ingredients (onion powder-vinegar) to the turkey, and mix just until evenly distributed. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 24-48 hours.

  2. Heat a very large stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook, stirring occasionally until bacon is crispy and fat is well-rendered. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a medium-sized bowl and set aside, leaving the fat in the pot.

  3. Add the sausage mixture to the bacon grease and brown all over, stirring and breaking up large pieces as needed. Transfer the sausage to the bowl with the bacon.

  4. Add the chopped potatoes, stock, salt, garlic powder, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes to the pot and bring just to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook till potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.

  5. Add the kale, coconut milk, and cooked bacon and sausage and cook on low heat for at least 5-10 minutes, just to let the flavors meld. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Dairy free, gluten free, no-added-sweeteners smash cake for baby's first birthday!

For the printable recipe PDF click here.

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Hey Y'all!

I'm the Monster Momma.

I'm a Christ-follower, wife, mother to five sweet paleo monsters, writer, and

paleo food fiend.

Join me and my family on our paleo journey!

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