It has been a really long time since I had a soup! Too long – not even a canned soup. It is long-past time to do one, and do one right. Not a traditionally veggie soup, but a healthy veg soup none the less. Here is my take on the Zuppa Toscana Soup from Olive Garden … which I have never actually had before.
At Olive Garden, when my parents and I would go, the salad and the bread is what I cared about – except of course for the awesome non-vegan pasta dishes. If I go now I normally get the minestrone soup and salad without the dressing. My dad though would always get the Zuppa Toscana soup; me, I never cared about it. But as my tastes change and I have become more adventurous, now I want to try it. Because of course, spicy soup is adventurous.
But to try something non-vegan, I had to do it differently. And how do I do that? Besides using vegan Tofurky Kielbasa Gourmet Sausage, I made the “creamy” soup using … wait for it … cauliflower puree! Woohoo, cauliflower! And this was the first time I had ever made a cauliflower soup (which is what it was before adding everything else) and I am so on the cauli-soup bandwagon! Amazing!
To start, chop one onion really small and add to soup pot with two tablespoons olive oil. Get that going at medium heat while chopping your kielbasa; add the sausage to onions and cook until onions and sausage are browned. While those are going chop your cauliflower into smallish chunks. Once onions and sausage are done pour into a dish, then add the veg stock to the pot with the cauliflower. Chop the other onion and dump in with the cauli. Put lid on with medium-high heat and boil until soft.
While the cauli and onions are boiling wash the potatoes and chop into small chunks. Once the cauli/onions are done, very carefully pour or scoop into a food processor or blender. I got to use a Ninja blender this time. Woohoo, for cooking at the family’s house! Process until smooth. Pour back into soup pot and add the potatoes, bagged peas and carrots, and sauteed onions and sausage. Mix really well then add about four cups water and spices. Let cook until potatoes are just getting soft. Add chopped kale and let cook until potatoes are done; this is a semi-spicy soup, yum. Also, be careful when pouring the pureed cauliflower back into the hot soup pot and adding the other ingredients. It will be hot, and it will spit out HOT cauliflower puree at you. It burns – let me tell ya!
2 Small Heads Cauliflower, washed and chopped
2 Yellow Onions, chopped
32oz Low Sodium Vegetable Stock
1 Pkg Tofurky Kielbasa Sausage, chopped
5 Small Potatoes
1 Pkg Frozen Peas and Corn
1 Bunch Kale, washed and chopped
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Parsley
2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
2 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Tsp Celery Salt
4 C Water
1. Chop one onion and saute with two tablespoons olive oil. Chop sausage into small chunks and add to onion. Saute together about 7-8 minutes until browned. When done pour out into small bowl.
2. Wash and chop cauliflower into small chunks and pour with vegetable stock into soup pot. Chop second onion and add to cauliflower. Boil with lid on until soft.
3. Carefully pour or spoon into food processor or high-power blender. Blend until pureed and smooth. Pour back into pot.
4. Wash and chop potatoes into small chunks and add to pot with sauteed onions and sausage, and peas and carrots. Stir until combined.
5. Add water and spices and mix again. Turn to medium-high heat and cook until potatoes are just getting tender.
6. Wash and chop kale, then add to pot. Cook until potatoes are done. Kale should still have a little bite to it.
7. Portion out and enjoy!
Total Fat: 6g