Been home for two days, and I’m still coming down from my “New Orleans, New Year’s” high. New Orleans is one of my favorite cities for so many reasons – a 300 year old city packed with rich history, diverse culture, and delectable food. I had the most wonderful New Year’s trip, but I’ll save those stories for another post.
Currently, our country has been swept with an out of the ordinary cold front, even reaching all the way down to yes, New Orleans. It got down to 25 F one evening… I didn’t bring a coat, either (that was a fun walk around the city). Currently, I have friends in Long Island, New York, stuck in a snow storm, so I suppose I’ll take my cold temps, no snow, in Tennessee. Although… I wouldn’t be opposed to a snow day. Hehe.
I forgot to announce I won an AMAZING, LeCruset Dutch Oven from one of my favorite Nashville food bloggers, Southern Fatty. I used it for the first time the night I got back into town, and I’m in love…. Give Southern Fatty a follow on Instgram – he’s always posting the most scrumptious treats.
Since it’s been so cold, I decided to cook something that would warm me up. I’ve also decided to do Whole30 this month, to help myself get back on track after the holiday gluttony I consumed. Mainly, I wanted to cut sugar completely out of my diet, and Whole30 allows no refined sugar of any kind, nor honey, or maple syrup. I’m on Day 2, and had a craving on the first night… LOL.
FYI, I made my soup spicy af. It definitely cleared my sinuses out. If you want to achieve this, use hot Italian sausage and 2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper flakes, otherwise use only one teaspoon.
Whole30 Zuppa Toscana Soup
2 tbsp bacon fat, or grease (if you don’t have it on hand, get 1/2 lb bacon)
1 lb hot italian sausage (use regular if you don’t like spicy)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tbsp oregano
1-2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (add more if you like)
1 tsp salt (more to taste)
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 cups low sodium beef broth
8 small to medium red potatoes, unpeeled, chopped
3 large handfuls chopped kale, fresh
13.5 oz coconut milk (full-fat)
chopped bacon (optional topping)
1. If you don’t have bacon grease on hand, fry 1/2 pound of bacon in a dutch oven, stove top. Once bacon is crisp, remove bacon and set aside, leaving the grease in the pan.
2. Add the Italian sausage to the pan, and stir into crumbles while cooking. Mash the meat with a fork to make it into crumbles. Cook until meat is brown, and there is no pink.
3. Add and stir in pressed garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and crack some fresh pepper. Saute’ for a few minutes.
4. Add all broth, and potatoes, and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat, add coconut milk, and kale, and cook for another 5 minutes. Kale should be tender but not over wilted.
6. Please taste at the end, and determine if you need to add more salt or pepper!
7. Top with chopped bacon if you so wish!