Thursday, September 1, 2011

Olive Garden® Zuppa Toscana (my vegan version)



Sometimes ,when you go vegan you day dream about that one thing you miss from your meat/dairy eating days. Don't get frustrated...just get creative. I have yet to find something I can't make in a similar vegan form. A friend of mine asked me to make a vegan version of this soup. I have never had the Olive Garden version but, if it is anything like this soup it is fabulous! We don't use a lot of meat substitutes. Every once in a while I can see it working in a dish. With a little research I came up with this version. I do believe if you served this to a die hard carnivore they too will gobble it up. This recipe contains potatoes. Mmmm... potatoes. Potatoes are a very good source of vitamin C, a good source of vitamin B6, copper, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber.
Potatoes also contain a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity. Among these important health-promoting compounds are carotenoids, flavonoids, and caffeic acid, as well as unique tuber storage proteins, such as patatin, which exhibit activity against free radicals.
This recipe is gluten-free (when using gluten-free soy sausage), vegan, contains soy and cashews.


                                    Olive Garden® Zuppa Toscana


  • 1 lb ground soy sausage
  • 1½ tsp crushed red peppers
  • 1 large diced white onion
  • 4 Tbsp bac'un pieces
  • 2 tsp garlic puree
  • 10 cups water
  • 5 tsp of better than bouillon vegetable or 5 cubes vegetable  bouillon
  • 1 cup soy cream ( I used Fresh and Easy brand)
  • 1 lb peeled sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes
  • ¼ of a bunch of kale
  • (optional) 3 Tbsp of cashews soaked over night in water for added creaminess
  1. Spray pan and sauté sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot.
  2. Clean bottom of pan then cook onions and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 mins. or until the onions are soft.
  3. Add  bouillon, bac'un and water to the pot and heat until it starts to boil.
  4. Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
  5. Add the cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.
  6. (optional) blend 2 cups of soup with three Tbsp cashews and add to the rest of the soup
  7. Stir in the sausage and the kale, let all heat through and serve. Delicious!

             You can find these @ Whole Foods in the seasonings isle.
    This brand is vegan but not gluten free. Found @ whole foods.


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