Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Paleo Zuppa Toscana

Last week we got a bunch of kale in our CSA bin.  My favorite way to eat kale is, by far, this recipe.  It's basically a copy cat of Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana, but without the potatoes and cream.  Although we didn't this time around, you could easily add some parsnips to this recipe to make it feel a little closer to the real thing.  You could also add some heavy cream or half and half if you don't mind a little dairy.  However, it definitely doesn't feel like it's lacking anything to begin with.  It's good and simple.  And very fall-ish.

Kale is a good source of calcium.  This is important to note if you have kids and don't eat dairy.  Cooked kale is a great way to get some calcium into those little bodies.  In this particular soup, the kale really takes on the flavors of the soup and doesn't have a heavy, mushy, bland taste.  And if you're pediatrician gives you a hard time about your little dude's calcium intake, rest assured that, if they are eating some greens and nut and seeds and a little fish, they are doing just fine.  Contrary to popular belief, there are other sources of calcium besides milk!

Paleo Zuppa Toscana

1 1/2 lbs Italian sausage (links or ground is fine)
5 slices bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch kale, torn into bit sized pieces
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup water, as needed

In large soup pot, cook bacon and sausage.  Add in onions and garlic and cook until soft.  Add in kale and stock.  If you want you soup to be a bit "soupier", add in the water.  We tend to like our soup a little on the thick, stew like side, so we skip that.

If you are going to add in parsnips, wait to add in kale until the soup is about finished.  It only needs a couple of minutes to cook and this will keep it from getting overcooked.

If you are going to add in any cream, add that in toward the end as well.

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