Sunday, March 9, 2014

Zuppa Toscana

It's been very cold these last few weeks.  I found this soup recipe on line and I tweaked it a little to make it low fat and freezer friendly.  It has a great creamy quality that makes it feel indulgent, but there is no actual dairy in this recipe.  I also swapped out the Italian sausage for turkey sausage.  I like to leave the peels on the red potatoes, but feel free to peel them if your family doesn't care for them.   We are partial to baby spinach, but kale would also be great in this.


1 pkg (20 oz) sweet turkey sausage  $4.58
1 large onion-chopped $ . 50
3 carrots-shredded $ .35
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 large garlic cloves-minced  $ .10
1 box of chicken stock $1.72
2 cups water  
6 red potatoes-sliced thin $1.50
1 can navy beans $ .68
2 heaping cups of baby spinach $1.50
 Parmesan cheese for topping (optional)


In a large pan brown the turkey sausage.  Remove and drain.
Chop the onion, peel and shred the carrots and mince the garlic.  Add two tsp of olive oil to the now empty pan and saute the onion, carrot and 1/2 tsp red pepper flake.
After the onion begins to get soft...about 8 minutes, add the minced garlic and cook stirring frequently for two minutes.  Once the garlic is fragrant add the chicken broth, water and the sliced potatoes.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile drain the can of navy beans.  Use a chopper, food processor or blender to cream the beans.  I have a small chopper so I blend my beans in two batches.

Once the soup has simmered for 15 minutes stir in the creamed beans and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Now the soup has been simmering for a total of 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat.  Stir in the turkey sausage and the baby spinach.
Now it's time to taste the soup and add salt and pepper to your liking.
This soup is so smooth and creamy, you wont even miss the cream!   The potatoes and sausage make it hearty and the red pepper flake adds a nice heat to the background.

We had two large bowls for dinner.  We like to top ours with grated Parmesan cheese.  You could also add a few sprinkles of hot sauce if you like yours with more of a kick!
The rest of the soup made two quarts for freezing.
We made this recipe into three meals that cost $3.64 each.  Not bad.  The soup freezes and reheats beautifully because there is no cream.  It stays smooth and delicious every time. 

I hope this soups warms your belly on a cold winter's evening.  
Christie aka Keeza