Vegetarian Zuppa Toscana – With Beyond Meat

Before becoming vegetarian, I couldn’t resist this delicious and simple Italian soup every time I went out to Olive Garden. Since then, I’ve often craved this potato and sausage soup. I was delighted to find when I made this recipe how similar it truly is. Classic Zuppa Toscana is often packed full of beans, zucchini, celery, carrots and other nutritious veggies that you can always add in if you like. This version is still full of nutrition but very simple and flavorful, easy to make in under 40 minutes on a week night when you need a little comfort and warmth.

If you haven’t tried Beyond meats yet, they are what everyone have been talking about. They are the burger patties now served at Carl’s Jr, Burger King, and other fast food restaurants beginning to offer more vegetarian and vegan options. They also make the most amazing vegan sausages, and the Hot Italian version are what make this recipe so tasty and similar to the original.

One of my favorite things about Zuppa Toscana is that is uses NO added seasonings (besides salt and pepper) yet has so much flavor from the sausage, onion, and garlic. When it comes to the potatoes, feel free to peel them if you’d like, but I leave the skin on. Many of the vitamins in the potatoes are in the skin, and it adds to the simplicity and authenticity of the recipe to just chop them up and throw them in! Just scrub them a little harder than usual when you wash them. This will make a big pot of this delicious soup, which I am eating reheated now as I write this. It is as good (maybe even better) as it was freshly made last night. Serve it at a dinner party or keep it all for yourself.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Beyond Meat Hot Italian Sausages
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 7 cups veggie or “not chicken” broth
  • 4 large Russett potatoes or 8 small ones, diced
  • 1 bunch green kale, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Optional: grated/shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish

Instructions:

  • Dice up the sausages into tiny pieces, or cut them into large chunks. Whatever you prefer. Warm a small amount of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Cook the sausage 6 or so minutes, until cooked through and sizzling.
  • Transfer the cooked sausage to a plate and cover with a paper towel. If some of the sausage sticks to the bottom of the pan or a few chunks remain in the bottom of the pot, that is okay! They will add flavor to the broth as it cooks.
  • Add a little bit more olive oil to the warm pot, then add the chopped onion, cooking until softened (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and cook another minute or two until fragrant. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Add the potatoes, then the broth, stirring the ingredients all together. Cook 25 minutes on medium heat until tender.
  • Turn heat to low. Stir in chopped kale and let cook until leaves are tender, about 4 minutes.
  • Stir in heavy cream (replace with a cashew cream for a vegan recipe) and sausage, cooking another 5-7 minutes.
  • Season generously yet again with salt and pepper, topping with Paramesan cheese (or alternative) if desired.
  • Serve! (:

I am so thankful for the momentum we are making in protein and meat alternatives! We are truly finding ways to save the lives of animals and the earth while still eating ALL the foods we love. Please let me know what you think of this vegetarian version of a classic Italian soup, and enjoy it often as we begin to transition into the fall months. ❤

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