I originally posted this recipe for sausage kale soup last December and while I love the recipe, it has long bothered me that the pictures were so bad. (So bad that I just decided to delete the now redundant post.) I make the soup with some frequency and decided it was time to just take some better photos and re-post it. I had only been blogging for a month at that point, so there’s a good chance you weren’t reading back then and you haven’t seen this recipe before.
This sausage kale soup is based on Zuppa Toscano from the Olive Garden and if you spend any time online, I’m sure you’ve seen a recipe or two telling you how to make that delicious soup at home. I’ve had a few different “knock-off” versions and they get pretty close to the real thing, but I like my less-close version better. I know it sounds like I’m playing favorites, but it really is better. Really. (And I’m going to backpedal just a little by adding the disclaimer, “If you have the same kind of tastes as I do.”)
My version of this sausage kale soup is a little different and here’s how: it’s dairy-free, low-carb, and high(er) protein. I took out the cream and potatoes and replaced them with coconut milk and cauliflower, along with increasing the amount of sausage. Depending on the health guidelines you subscribe to, it’s pretty healthy. In fact, you don’t even need a side vegetable to make this soup a meal, it’s complete nutrition in a bowl.
- 1 1/2 pounds ground natural pork sausage, without casings
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (adjust to preference)
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 4 ounces bacon (about three strips), cut into lardons
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4-6 cups homemade chicken stock
- 1 can coconut milk, unshaken
- 1 pound cauliflower cut in bit-size florets
- 4 ounces kale (about 1/4 bunch), roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1. Brown one half of the sausage and half of the red pepper flakes in a large sauté pan. Remove cooked sausage to a large plate lined with paper towels to drain, removing remaining fat from the pan. Repeat with remaining sausage and red pepper flakes. Set sausage aside.
- 2. In a medium stock pot, sauté bacon, onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is soft and slightly browned, about 15 minutes.
- 3. Add 4 cups chicken stock and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium high, add cauliflower and cook until al dente, about 15 minutes.
- 4. Open the can of coconut milk and gently scoop out the very thick coconut cream from the top of the can and put into the stock pot. You should have about half a can remaining when you are done, set aside for another use.
- 5. Add the sausage and kale to the soup and stir to combine. Add more chicken stock here if desired. Once the sausage is heated through and the kale is wilted, the soup is ready to serve. Taste and season with salt and pepper according to taste.
Have you ever made any restaurant-inspired “knock-off” food? Did it turn out? Would you rather eat what you made or what you got at the restaurant? If you could cook anything at home just as good as at your favorite restaurant, what would it be?
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