A few weeks ago, a coworker brought a huge to-go container of Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden to have for lunch in the office. I had never tried it before, but let me tell you, it smelled SO GOOD. I could almost taste it just from the smell wafting through the open work space. My coworker and I chatted about it, and it turns out she goes to Olive Garden nearly every week and gets a few containers of the soup to-go because she is practically addicted to the creamy, garlic-y, spicy Tuscan favorite.
She offered me a little cup of it to try, but unfortunately, even though it was gluten free, I couldn’t eat it due to the cream, pork sausage, and bacon. Tempting as it was to have just a small taste anyway, I managed to resist. As soon as I got home that night I looked up the ingredients for the Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana and adapted the recipe to make it dairy free and pork free so I could try it.
It was so good! And surprisingly filling too. The best part was bringing a big bowl of the leftovers to work the next day, heating it up in the office microwave, and having all my colleagues flock to the kitchen to investigate what the delicious smell was. Well, team, I promised I’d share the recipe – so here it is!
- 2 tablespoons of avocado oil
- 3 slices of turkey bacon, chopped into bits
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
- 3 large yellow potatoes, diced
- 14 ounces of Italian chicken sausage (I used this brand from Whole Foods)
- 1 quart of chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- 1 teaspoon of thyme
- 1 teaspoon of fennel
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk (about 14 ounces)
- 2 handfuls of chopped kale
- Fresh chopped parsley to garnish
- Heat the avocado oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the turkey bacon bits and let it sizzle until they’re crispy. Then remove the bacon bits and set them aside, leaving the grease in the pot.
- Add the chicken sausage to the pot and break it up into small pieces. Cook it through, then scoop it out and set it aside with the bacon, leaving the grease.
- Stir the chopped onions and garlic into the grease and saute until soft (about 3 minutes).
- Pour in the chicken broth, then add the sausage and bacon back into the pot.
- Add the potatoes, oregano, thyme, fennel, salt, pepper, and coconut milk. Bring the soup to a boil. Boil until the potatoes soften, then turn off the heat and stir in the chopped kale. It will soften and shrink as it heats up.
- When you’re ready to dish it up, garnish each serving with fresh chopped parsley and extra turkey bacon bits.