Zuppa Toscana Soup - Cauliflower

Zuppa Toscana, translating to "Tuscan Soup," is a traditional Italian soup originating from the Tuscany region of Italy. The history of this hearty soup is steeped in the rustic, peasant-style cooking typical of the Tuscan countryside, where simplicity and the use of fresh, local ingredients are key.

Historically, the soup was a way for Tuscan farmers to use up leftover ingredients and seasonal produce, making the most of their available resources. The classic version of Zuppa Toscana typically includes kale, potatoes, cannellini beans, onions, and sometimes Italian sausage, simmered in a rich broth often enhanced with garlic and spices. Some variations also incorporate tomatoes or carrots. The soup was traditionally made with whatever was on hand, reflecting the seasonal and agricultural nature of Tuscan life. Over the years, Zuppa Toscana has gained popularity beyond Italy, with variations emerging in different countries. In the United States, for example, it is often associated with the Olive Garden restaurant chain, where a creamier version featuring heavy cream and spicy sausage has become a menu staple. This evolution of Zuppa Toscana highlights the adaptability of traditional recipes to suit different tastes and cultures while maintaining a connection to its Tuscan roots.

1 - pound of hot italian sausage (go to meat counter)
1 - large head of cauliflower chopped
1 - large onion chopped
4 - large stalks of celery chopped
6 - large garlic cloves peeled and smashed
1 - regular size box chicken broth
2 - cups of chopped kale (chunks ½ - ¾ the size of a soup spoon)
3/4 - cup aged white cheddar shredded
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt (No Exceptions)
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

In a large stockpot, turn the heat on high, drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add 1 garlic clove.  Once you can smell the garlic, turn heat down to medium-high and add the sausage.  Cook until chunked and browned.

Remove sausage from stockpot with a serving spoon into separate bowl to be added at the end.  Leave all of the leftover meat chunks and grease in the pot.

Return stockpot to high heat.  Drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add onion, celery, and garlic. Add big pinch of kosher salt.  Sweat vegetables for about 6-10 minutes.  

Once the onions and celery are soft add the chicken broth.  Then add the cauliflower.  Bring to a boil and then drop heat to a medium simmer and cover.  Cook until cauliflower is tender but not mushy. (10-15 minutes)

Turn off heat and let cool for 5 minutes.    

Emersion blend the shit out of it. No chunks.  Use food processor if you do not have an emersion blender. Want to thin it out? Add water a ¼ cup at a time. The size of your head of cauliflower is how you will end up thicker or thinner. Trust me it will always be thicker than you want. Ok to add water or even better more chicken broth.

Take a big spoon and slowly stir in meat, cheese, and chopped kale.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Let sit until the kale is softened. (5 minutes)





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