This soup always makes me smile. My husband asks for this Low Carb Toscana Soup every time I mention soup is on the menu. It makes me smile because this is one of those recipes he would hate it he only read what the ingredients were ahead of time. It has kale in it after all and he HATES kale, loathes kale, but this soup with kale, he LOVES!
Low Carb Toscana Soup is light and has a base that is broth-like, yet still creamy. It is a wonderful and hearty Italian soup!!
I also smile when he asks for it, because it reminds me of when we were first married, and he felt it necessary to sit me down and let me know what foods he hated and what foods to “NEVER, EVER” make for him. First on his “never, ever, make me” list was meatloaf. When he returned home the next day, he walked into the apartment and commented on the wonderful smell. I told him to have a seat, dinner was ready and then proceeded to bring a big ol’ meat loaf to the table. He was quiet and stared unhappily at the platter of sliced meat loaf, but he ate it and then had seconds.
The second thing on his “never, ever make me” list was fried pork chops. On that second afternoon, he returned home and again commented on the wonderful smell. He saw bubbling gravy in the skillet and eagerly sat himself down at the table, only to have me bring him a platter of fried pork chops. He was quiet as he ate, then looked me square in the face as he reached for another pork chop and said, “I guess this is to teach me not to tell you what to do.” BINGO!! Don’t tell me you hate kale, cuz guess what’s coming buddy?!
Low Carb Toscana Soup is packed full of wonderful flavors from Italian sausages, cauliflower, onion, kale and bacon, making it hard to stop at just one bowlful!!
We are officially in what I call Soup Season. To me that means big pots of hot soup and overall, big batches of belly warming yumminess. I love a cream of potato soup, like my Cream of Potato and Rosemary Soup, Roasted Red Pepper Soup, Hearty Cream of Turkey Soup and any soup with rice, beans, beef, barley and the list goes on and on. This Low Carb Toscana Soup is so flavorful! It is hearty, yet feels like a light soup. It is low carb, so you don’t feel like you need a nap when you are done. Not that there is anything wrong with a nap!
Toscana simply implies Tuscan. The original recipe uses potatoes and cannellini beans. This Low Carb Toscana Soup still has all the wonderful flavors, but this version has substituted cauliflower for the potatoes, omitted the canned beans and added bacon for a nice, smoky depth of flavor. These ingredients are simmered in a seasoned chicken broth and cream base that is just delicious!
To make this Low Carb Toscana Soup, you will want to start with a heavy bottomed pot. Place the sausages and bacon together in the pot and cook through, browning them. Make sure to leave the little browned bits in the bottom of the pot, because that adds lots of flavor to your soup. I like to add my onion in at this time as well, because I like the onion to be very soft when the soup is done.
Low Carb Toscana Soup
- 1 pound sweet, Italian sausage
- 4 slices smoked bacon, chopped into pieces
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 medium finely chopped onion
- 1 medium carrot, diced small or cut into thin medallions
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1-1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp oregano, ground or leaves
- 1 tsp sage, ground
- 1 tsp basil, ground or leaves
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes add more if you like spicy
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 4 cups chicken broth can use veg or turkey broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 medium head cooked, cauliflower precook until fork tender
- 3 cups cleaned and chopped kale
- salt and pepper to taste
- Precook 1/2 of a medium head of cauliflower that you have divided into flowerettes.
- In a large pot, heat and cook chopped sausage and bacon, when done remove from pot and set aside until later.
- Add butter and onion to pot with sausage/bacon grease and saute until tender. Add carrots and garlic to cooked onion.
- Add vinegar, cook for 1 minute. Add in all the spices, pour in broth and cream, stir to incorporate.
- Add precooked cauliflower, cooked sausage and bacon to the pot.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and then add chopped kale. Simmer for 5-7 minutes and serve. Enjoy!!
To the cooked sausage, bacon and onion, I add the broth. You can use any broth you like but I prefer chicken because it has a lighter flavor. I then add garlic, cooked cauliflower and simmer this on low for 15-20 minutes. I then add the cream and kale and simmer on low for another 10 minutes or until the kale is wilted and tender. Then ladle up a bowlful of this warm, flavorful soup and enjoy its healthy and hearty goodness. Enjoy friends!!
I love that I was able to change this heavy soup into Low Carb Toscana Soup. Do you have a favorite hearty soup you lighten up and still enjoy?