I’m so happy to have this soup up front again! I posted a Zuppa Toscana recipe ages ago, and as I’ve been updating some of my old recipes and photos, I’ve had that one on my to-do list.
(Psst… I added slow cooker and stovetop adaptations, too!)
The problem with making Zuppa Toscana is that it gets eaten REALLY quickly. It’s such an amazing soup — Italian sausage, hearty kale, silky potatoes, and a creamy broth. *swoon*
I could never snap photos in time or I figured, “I make this all the time, I’ll get photos eventually” — which actually means it’ll never happen until I make a plan for it.
And then came my book (which has a slow cooker version in it!), and then came my Instant Pot. I KNEW I had to do an Instant Pot version of this!
I bumped up the kale from the original recipe. It might look frightening when you’re piling it into the pot, but like all greens, it cooks down a lot. Don’t sweat.
And, yes, my kids eat kale. I told them a long time ago it helped them grow faster, and none of them have had any issues eating it. They’ll even eat massaged kale salads — especially this Kale Caesar Salad with Garlic Shrimp.
No, they don’t eat everything, and they do have their picky moments. I’m just calling kale a win and trying to get them to eat more things that are good for them.
It also helps when bacon and/or sausage is involved.
This soup is super versatile, too.
I included adaptations for dairy-free, Whole30, and Keto in the instructions.
I tolerate dairy well, so I have no issues throwing a splash (*cough* a cup) of cream into a soup or showering the top with Parmesan shavings. I love me some cheese, man. So does #babylukedanes.
He couldn’t eat dairy for a long time, but seems to be OK with it now. That boy loves cheese like nothing I’ve never seen in my life. I can kind of relate to that. :)
- 1 Tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 pound uncooked bulk Italian sausage (sweet or spicy)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (see note)
- 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 bunch of fresh kale, stems removed and leaves cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 1/2 quarts chicken broth
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 cup heavy cream or coconut milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh, chopped parsley, shaved Parmesan, and crispy bacon, for garnish (if desired)
- Set your Instant Pot to the high Saute setting. When it has preheated, add the oil to the pot along with the sausage. Cook, breaking up the meat into little bits, for 10-15 minutes or until browned.
- Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes to the pot. Stir and cook for a minute or so. Add the potatoes, kale, broth, and vinegar. Give it a stir.
- Change the setting to Soup and set it for 10 minutes. Attach the lid and turn the steam valve to "sealing". Let that Instant Pot work its magic. You could cook up some bacon at this point if you plan on using it as a garnish.
- When the Instant Pot beeps, let it naturally release for 5 minutes, and then release the remainder of the steam manually (just turn the steam valve to "venting").
- Remove the lid. Add the cream/coconut milk and about 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Give it a good stir and taste it, adding more salt or red wine vinegar if you feel it needs it.
- Ladle into bowls and serve with garnishes.
SLOW COOKER ADAPTATION: Cook the sausage in a skillet on the stove, then transfer it to a 4 or 6 quart slow cooker. Add the onion, garlic, pepper flakes, potatoes, kale, broth, and vinegar. Give it a stir. Close the lid and cook it on low for 4-5 hours until the potatoes are cooked through. Stir in the cream/coconut milk. Taste, and add more salt or vinegar if necessary. Serve with garnishes.
STOVETOP ADAPTATION: Follow instructions 1-2 in a large pot on the stove. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. Pull the soup off the heat and add the cream/coconut milk. Taste, and add more salt or vinegar if you think it needs it. Serve with garnishes.
1. For a strict Paleo/dairy-free/Whole30 version, use coconut milk and omit the Parmesan. You may also replace the potatoes with sweet potatoes or 3-4 cups of 1-inch cauliflower pieces.
2. For a Keto/low-carb version, replace the potatoes with 3-4 cups of 1-inch cauliflower pieces.
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