Zuppa Toscana – Healthy, Delicious Tuscan Soup
Tuscan Soup, or Zuppa Toscana, is not just a healthy, power-packed bowl of antioxidants, it is beyond delicious! With its bounty of protective phytonutrients, Zuppa Toscana is the very thing to warm you against the impending winter chill and arm you against the lurking flu season. Vibrant with colorful vegetables, most of the ingredients are fresh from the farmers’ market. These veggies are simmered in a rich, flavorful homemade vegetable broth (see Rich, Delicious Vegetable Broth).
The broth is prepared by roasting celery, carrots, onions, and garlic to bring out their maximum sweetness. Its flavor deepens with the addition of sea vegetables, shiitake mushrooms and miso that add savory umami tones to balance the sweetness of the roasted vegetables. If you don’t feel you have time to prepare a broth from scratch, you may, of course, use store-bought. I encourage you, however, to try making this extraordinarily flavorful broth just once. You’ll never settle for store-bought again!
- 1 med yellow onion julienned into 1/8-inch strips
- 2 stalks celery cut into 1/8-inch slices on an angle
- 1 small-med green bell pepper cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 small-med red bell pepper, or carmine pepper cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 small-med yellow bell pepper cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 large carrots cut into 1/8-inch slices on an angle
- 4 cups Yukon Gold potatoes (quartered lengthwise, and sliced 1/8-inch thick)
- 16 oz white button mushrooms (aka cremini mushrooms) cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 2 cups cannellini beans (aka white kidney beans) preferably freshly cooked, 3/4 cups liquid reserved
- 2 links Field Roast Chipotle Mexican Sausage sliced in half lengthwise, then cut across into 1/4-inch half rounds
- 10 cups Rich, Delicious Vegetable Broth or a good quality, low salt commercial broth
- 1/2-2 tablespoons thyme (or to taste) depending on whether it is commercially produced or home-dried. The home dried requires more.
- 1 tablespoon organic crushed red peppers (optional)
- 8-16 oz kale torn roughly into 2-inch squares
- 1 cup steamed skin-on russet potato cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 1 1/4 cup total liquid from beans and potato water
Cut all vegetables as directed. Transfer to a 4-quart saucepan or stockpot.
Cover vegetables with homemade vegetable broth (see recipe) or with commercial vegetable broth.
Replace lid and bring to a fast simmer, or slow boil.
While the vegetables are coming to a boil, prepare thickening sauce. In a blender, preferably a high-powered blender like a Vita-mix, blend together until smooth the russet potato pieces, cashews, bean liquid and remaining liquid from steaming potato. (The liquid should not exceed 1 1/4 cups.)
Once vegetables have come to a fast simmer, remove lid and test potatoes for doneness. You should still have a little resistance when you attempt to push a fork into the potato pieces. Stir in thyme, crushed peppers (if using), cannellini beans, and vegan sausage.
Cover and allow to simmer slowly for five minutes until flavors are fully incorporated and all ingredients are heated through. Do not boil as the cashew cream may curdle. The potatoes should be fork tender at this point, the onions and celery translucent, and the peppers soft but firm.
Remove lid and stir in desired amount of kale. Serve hot with crusty baked bread.
*If you don't care for mushrooms, you may substitute zucchini. It is a common ingredient in Tuscan Soup.
Below are the equipment and products I used in this recipe. Click on the photo to order yours through my affiliate link with Amazon.com, for which I receive a small advertising fee. Please visit my Store for more information.
Simply Songer Design Custom-Made Chopping Board with 8-inch Bowl