Friday, September 5, 2014

Vegan Zuppa Toscana

A few years ago, when I would frequent Olive Garden, I loved ordering the soup and salad combo. It was always a toss up between the Minestrone and Zuppa Toscana. Usually Zuppa Toscana won out, and just recently a thought flickered into my head telling me to recreate the soup. Just a lot healthier and of course, vegan. It was actually really easy to put together, but is definitely not a "healthy" soup. Save this one for when you are feeling indulgent or when you want a really hearty soup that will leave you satisfied.

I chose to use this homemade veggie sausage recipe from Yumuniverse, feel free to use your favorite.

You'll need:

2 c cooked veggie sausage
4 russet or yellow potatoes, cubed
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 c veggie stock
1 c thick nut milk, I used homemade cashew
1/2 package veggie bacon, cooked (optional, but worth it, can use tempeh bacon for a gf option)
5 stalks de-stemmed and roughly chopped fresh kale (spinach would be great, too)
coconut oil for sauteeing

Cook your veggie bacon and sausage (large crumbles) in a large stock pot, seperately in the coconut oil. Set aside. Saute the onion, in the pot, until translucent then add in the garlic and saute for an extra minute. Deglaze the pot with the veggie stock then add in your potatoes. Cook on medium until potatoes are almost tender, then add in the veggie sausage, half of the bacon and the kale. Add in the cashew milk and season with salt and pepper. Once the soup is ladled into bowls, top with the extra veggie bacon. Enjoy! 

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