Zuppa toscana supreme

This recipe was inspired by Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana.  I googled a clone recipe for it, veganized the clone recipe, and then tweaked it to fit what ingredients I had on hand.  The result was amazing.

I bought a purple potato without knowing it, and boy– was I surprised!  I have never seen one before, and I must say, it really adds a lot to this soup.  I used organic reds for the rest, and chose Field Roast brand Italian Sausages as a vegan substitute.  These sausages are delicious on their own, and are expertly seasoned with eggplant and red pepper.  The sweet yellow onion and celery root add complex, comforting flavors, and the kale and nutritional yeast all bump up the nutritional value of the soup.
The original recipe called for heavy cream, but I decided to use So Coconut brand unsweetened protein-enhanced milk. It’s probably the thickest non-dairy milk on the market, unless you use soy creamer (and I don’t like that stuff because it’s sweetened.)  I had some vegan cheese in reserve in case the thickness didn’t turn out right, and found that I didn’t need it at all.  As the potatoes boiled and softened, they created a wonderfully silky, creamy texture that I only needed to thicken slightly with nutritional yeast. So Coconut doesn’t have a strong coconut flavor, so the end result is indestinguishable from soy or almond milk.  Smart Bacon and Not Beef amp up the warm, hearty flavors of the soup, and believe you me– fresh marjoram and sage make all the difference.  (They are simple to grow on a container porch garden, so no excuses!)
Without further ado, here’s my recipe for vegan Zuppa Toscana Supreme…

3 medium red potatoes, roughly diced
1 medium purple potato, roughly diced
2 Field Roast Italian Sausages
2 strips Smart Bacon
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup diced celery root

2 cups chopped kale
2 cups So Coconut with Protein, unsweetened
2 cups vegetable broth

2 cups water

1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 Not Beef Cube
1 large bay leaf
3-4 sprigs fresh marjoram
4 fresh sage leaves
Saute onion, celery root and garlic until celery bits start to soften in a large skillet or wok.  Add sausage, bacon, marjoram and sage leaves, and cook until sausage starts to brown slightly.  Boil potatoes in a large stock pot with 2 cups vegetable broth, 2 cups water, 1 Not Beef Cube, and bay leaf about 30 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed and potatoes are soft.  Add sausage mix to potato pot, coconut milk, nutritional yeast, and kale.  Simmer until kale turns bright green.

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