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Friday, February 23, 2018

Whole30 Tuscan Soup

Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana Soup is one of my favorites of all time. Now #leohusband and I tend to lean toward Mom and Pop type eating establishments.  We rarely dine at chain restaurants with a few exceptions. Olive Garden and Pappasito's are those exceptions.

There is an Olive Garden halfway between my longtime BFFs house and mine that we like to meet and double date at.

I always get the Zuppa Toscana - Spicy Italian sausage, fresh kale and russet potatoes in a creamy broth. Made with gluten-free ingredients, according to the menu. Side note I love it when restaurants put Gluten Free next to a steak menu item.

Eating at an Italian restaurant isn't usually a great Paleo or even a Whole30 go to.  Even this soup isn't because I know that the Italian sausage has sugar in it, it's made with dairy milk, and probably has even more sugar added to the base.

However, I do love it and if it's too cold for me to eat salad, I'm weird that way.  Then it's my go to.

So I was thinking it had to be easy to make it.  I'm usually famous for guessing people's "secret ingredient" by the taste or smell.  So I already know the basics, broth, milk, sausage, kale, potatoes, onions...but there is probably garlic in there as well.

So let's make it Whole30 friendly since it's still technically February and I'm just not ready for salad season yet.

Whole30 Tuscan Soup


1 lb ground pork
6 slices of Whole30 Approved bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 large red potatoes, peeled and diced (sub in white sweet potatoes if you don't eat potatoes)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 box of baby kale, roughly chopped or torn
8 oz of full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
4 cups beef bone broth
1 cup chicken bone broth
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh Italian parsley, washed, de-stemmed, and roughly chopped
2 tsp salt divided
2 tsp black pepper divided
1Tbl of Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp fennel


Cook the bacon until crispy in a skillet on the stove.  I personally like to just throw on extra bacon when I'm cooking breakfast or another meal that week that involves bacon. Transfer to a paper towel, blot, and let cool.

While the bacon is cooking wash the parsley and start de-stemming the leaves.  If you are a chronic pain and illness warrior like me, sit in front of the TV while you de-stem.  Check on the bacon every 3-5 minutes.

After you have the leaves separated, roughly chop them and set aside.
Set the instant pot to sauté and add the ground pork in the pot, 1t of the salt and black pepper, the Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and fennel. Combine thoroughly. Cook until browned and drain on paper towels but leave the fat in the pot.

While the ground pork is browning, dice the onion.

Keeping the instant pot on sauté, add the onion and garlic to the fat and cook until translucent.

Remove some fat if desired. Add the Italian sausage back to the pot.

Turn the instant pot off sauté and pour in the broth, coconut milk, rest of the salt and pepper and potato. Stir to combine.

Lock the lid onto the instant pot and set to 13 minutes on high.

While the soup is cooking roughly chop or tear the baby kale and crumble the cooled bacon. Put the bacon and the parsley in serving bowls.

After the soup is done, do a 10-minute natural release. (Chronic Pain Warrior tip - clean up the kitchen and set the table if it's not already done)

Remove the lid and stir in the kale and allow to wilt in the hot soup.

Serve topped with bacon and parsley. I like LOTS of parsley in mine and #leohusband not so much so I like to let guests choose for themselves.


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