Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Vegan Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Inspired)

Vegan Zuppa Toscana
(Olive Garden Inspired)



Sometimes a soup can be a meal in itself, between its hearty ingredient and rich stock. All you need to do in that case is just add a fresh garden salad and breadsticks. This recipe shows that soup can be more than just a soup, it can be comforting and craveable. This soup is filled with savory and robust flavors that will not only satisfy your taste buds but keep a permanent place in you heart...yes I am talking about a soup. Always a crowd pleaser and makes enough to serve an family sized army. You will be happy to make this and present it to your family, vegan or not. Enjoy!

Vegan Zuppa Toscana 
(Olive Garden Inspired)

Ingredients
-3 cups vegan Italian sausage crumbles or vegan patties cut up into bit sized chunks
-2 very large russet baking potatoes sliced in half and then in 1/4 inch slices, (peeled or unpeeled is fine)
-1 large onion, chopped
-1 Tablespoon dried parsley
-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, Add up to 1 tsp, depending on how spicy you want it
-1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper or more to taste
-1/2 cup vegan bacon, minced
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-8 cups chopped kale, julienne style
-12 cups vegan chicken broth
-1 cup full fat coconut milk (canned, unsweetened)
Directions

Heat a large heavy bottom pot with 1 Tbsp olive oil.

In a food processor, mince onions and garlic until chopped. You could also chop and mince the onion and garlic by hand as well. 

Processed Onion & Garlic
Once chopped, add them to heated pot with oil, saute lightly for 3 minutes.

Sauteed Onion & Garlic
Add dried herbs, pepper flakes, and black pepper. Cook onion mixture for another 3 to 5 minutes to cook down slightly. 

Sauteed Onion & Garlic with Seasoning
Once the mixture has cooked, Add the vegan sausage and bacon and saute for another 5 minutes to slight brown the vegan meat. 
Sauteed Vegan Meat Mixture
Then place potatoes and chicken broth in the pot and cook on medium heat or simmer until potatoes are done. 
Sliced Potatoes
Simmering Soup 
Once the soup has cooked and the potatoes are tender. Turn to low heat and add in the kale, cook until tender (the kale will get darker in color once cooked completely). 

Cleaned Tuscan Kale
Chopped Kale, measured
Julienned Kale
Simmering Kale in Soup
(Kale not cooked yet)
Once the kale is tender, add the coconut milk and stir to combine. Heat the coconut milk thoroughly and taste and season with more salt or pepper if needed. Serve as an appetizer or as a main dish with fresh garden salad and breadsticks. Enjoy!

Finished Soup 

-Amy