by Cindy Tanzar
This soup was my answer to Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana. I always loved that soup, but this is a much healthier, low-glycemic version. It has a very rich tasting broth that is much more satisfying than boxed chicken broth, however, you can certainly use organic chicken broth, as well. Don't throw out your chicken bones after a meal! Place them into a bag in the freezer until you have enough to make broth. I use so much broth that I like to purchase prepackaged chicken bones from Our Father's Farm in Gretna, VA. I know the quality of all their products is amazing, which makes all our food taste so much better. This recipe makes 4 servings and covers protein, vegetable and 1/2 a fat for one meal.
3-1/2 - 4 lbs. organic chicken bones (neck, back, legs) (if making your own broth) OR 6-8 cups organic chicken broth
Four links Italian chicken sausage (casing removed and cut into medium-sized chunks)
Medium head of cauliflower, cut into small flowerets
1 bunch of organic kale, removed from stem and torn into bite-size pieces
One medium onion, chopped
2-3 Tbs unrefined, organic coconut, avocado or macadamia nut oil
Crushed red pepper – ½ tsp or more to taste (we like more!)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Heavy cream (optional)
Either make your own broth (below) or use 6-8 cups of organic chicken broth until it's of the consistency you like.
Make chicken broth by placing chicken bones in an 8-quart Dutch oven (I use an oblong shape to fit the bones better). Fill with water to within an inch from the top. Bring the water to a boil, then simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, occasionally skimming the foam. (Optional - Feel free to add a couple of stalks of celery, two carrots, an onion, 5 sprigs of fresh parsley, 3 springs of fresh thyme and a bay leaf for extra depth of flavor.)
Strain the broth into a large bowl and set aside. In the same pot, saute the chicken sausage and onion in oil until brown. Add cauliflower and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broth, salt (add 1 tsp, then ½ tsp at a time until to your liking), pepper and crushed red pepper to the pot and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add kale, simmering until tender.
If you like a creamier soup, stir in up to 1/4 cup of heavy cream, a couple of tablespoons at a time, until it's too your liking. It's will add a rich layer to your soup, however, the flavor of the chicken broth alone in this recipe is just delicious. Enjoy!