A fond memory of my childhood has to be going to the Olive Garden. The only difference from most people is that instead of the salad to start our meals, almost my entire family got the soup. Four bowls of zuppa toscana.
Years passed before I ever even thought of making my own. It seemed like such a complicated and heavy soup recipe that I decided I couldn’t possibly make it taste good on my own. And if I did, it wasn’t going to be anything that would fit in with my healthier lifestyle. So…I didn’t even try.
It was such a surprise to learn zuppa toscana soup is actually pretty easy to make. The best part is that you can change a lot of the ingredients. If you’re looking for a lower calorie option, swap the potatoes for cauliflower (see below) or use a leaner meat like turkey sausage. If you have a dairy intolerance, swap the heavy cream for coconut milk.
Cauliflower vs Potatoes Zuppa Toscana
I have nothing against potatoes! The only reason I made it this way was because I had a head of cauliflower on hand and no potatoes.
With that said, the real reason I’m sharing this low carb version of zuppa toscana is that “it tastes better with cauliflower than potatoes” in the opinion of everyone in my family.
From a nutritional aspect, cauliflower and potatoes are both full of different vitamins and minerals. From a calorie standpoint, cauliflower does contain less calories than potatoes when comparing a single cup serving size of each.
|1-Cup Steamed||Calories||Total Fat||Total Carbs||Fiber||Protein|
Other Changes You Can Make
The recipe below is how I made the soup. There are many things that you can try out to change it up. Below are a few ideas for you:
- Spicy sausage of any kind
- 2 cups sliced potatoes instead of cauliflower
- Spinach leaves or swiss chard instead of kale
- Coconut milk instead of heavy cream
There are lots of different things you can do, so don’t be afraid to put your own spin on it. The one non-negotiable ingredient that I refuse to make this without is my own slow simmered chicken broth.
Low Carb Cauliflower Zuppa Toscana
- chicken broth
- 1 head cauliflower chopped
- 1 lb mild or spicy Italian chicken sausage
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 bunch kale torn into pieces
- 2 tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 cup heavy cream
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high.
Add the onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté for another minute to two.
Add the sausage and grind for 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked through.
Add the chicken broth to the pot and bring to a slow boil.
Add the cauliflower and allowed to boil for about 8 minutes.
Add some salt and pepper to taste and a Sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
Add the heavy cream and stir to combine.
Add the kale and return to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer in cover for 6 to 7 minutes or until kale is cooked.
21 Day Fix Containers Used
If you are following the portion control diet approach from the 21 Day Fix, this will fit perfectly with your containers. I believe this recipe is also 2B Mindset-approved.
- 1 Red container for the sausage
- 1 Green container for the onion and kale
- 1 Yellow container for the broth (dairy)
- 1 Blue container if using coconut milk
It is going to be pretty hard to get the portion control containers 100% accurate, but hopefully this helps give you some idea what goes into this recipe. Enjoy!!!
Tried it? What do you think? Please leave a comment below or any adjustments you’d make!