*This is a paid post sponsored by Bloomscape. The blog post and recipe are my own*
Recently, I started a non-dairy journey after battling gastrointestinal-related health problems. I can be honest and say that I was not looking forward to it, my favorite dishes include cheeses, heavy cream, sour cream and I love purchasing fancy creamers for my coffee. I knew this new journey would not last long and I would end up taking medicines with every meal. After some research and hard discipline, I’ve been able to substitute all of my favorite dairy-based food products with plant-based options.
As the weather begins to change in Michigan, I find soups so comforting and fulfilling after a long workday or weekends spent bundling up indoors. Thanks to Bloomscape’s Edible Garden Collection, I’ve been able to grow fresh kale indoors from a pot in my bedroom window. I couldn’t I decided to create a recipe for one of my favorite soups, Zuppa Toscana. The soup’s name means “Tuscan Soup” in Italian and is usually made with cream, kale, Italian sausage, onions, potatoes, and sometimes cannellini beans. Instead of making the soup with cow’s milk, I used my old faithful- coconut milk.
Some plant-based lovers shy away from coconut milk because of their dislike for shaved coconut or coconut water but it has become my favorite plant-based milk for regular ingestion and cooking. The canned coconut milk found in the international foods aisle is my absolute favorite. It’s creamy enough to make delicious soup bases and you can even whip it like heavy whipping cream. I also love coconut milk found with other milk and plant-based products, it’s the perfect substitute for milk in cooking and baking recipes.
I hope you enjoy this recipe, I let a few of the non-plant based friends try and they loved it and couldn’t tell the difference! Russet potatoes are perfect for this recipe because of their quick cook time with cut and boiled and the tenderness of the skin. Feel free to use plant-based sausage, I used pork sausage because “I likes the meats” but whatever goes in your own kitchen! If you’re using Italian sausage links, I would recommend removing the casing (the skin on the sausage) before cooking. Don’t forget to top with cow’s milk or plant-based parmesan cheese
Here’s the Full Recipe…
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, medium and diced
- 4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2cup dry white wine, vegetable broth is a great alternative
- 2tablespoons flour, all-purpose, or whatever is on hand
- 5cups vegetable broth, chicken is acceptable
- 3medium to large russet potatoes, cleaned and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1/2teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, this controls the spice- add more if you’d like
- 1 lb of Italian Sausage, break pieces into small chunks and bits
- 1can full-fat coconut milk, 2 cups of plant-based milk is fine as well
- 1medium bunch kale or about 4 packed cups, removed the stems and chop the leaves roughly
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place a large pot on a medium fire and coat with olive oil (about one full circle around the pot usually works).
- Once the oil has heated up, then add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent. Don’t forget to stir occasionally.
- Stir in the garlic and cook it for about 1 minute or until your kitchen smells nice and aromatic.
- Stir in the wine or broth to gather all of the onions and flavor. Increase the pot’s heat until the mixture starts to bubble and then turn it back down after one minute.
- At this time, you want to let the mixture simmer for up 6 minutes or until most of the liquid has cooked away. This is how we will create a thick soup base.
- Sprinkle the flour into the pot and stir it well until it’s incorporated with the onion and garlic mixture.
- Slowly add the broth (starting with just a splash) and whisk it continuously to prevent lumps. Continue adding the broth a cup at a time and don’t forget to whisk in between cups.
- Once the broth begins to boil, add in the potatoes and red pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper as well.
- Allow the potatoes to boil and increase temperature. After 4 minutes, turn the temperature of the pot back down to a simmer.
- Let the pot simmer while occasionally stirring for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Once the potatoes are tender, add in the cooked sausage, coconut milk, and add the chopped kale last. Be sure to stir and add more kale if needed.
- Bring the soup to a roaring boil to wilt the kale for up to 4 minutes and bring the temperature back down to a boil until you’re ready to serve.
- Serve warm and don’t forget to share with the ones you love! Also, tag me in any pictures at @elle.thefoodie!