Slow Cooker Tuscan Sausage Soup (Step by Step)
Need an easy, gluten-free, low fat, low-cal, weeknight recipe? (Even paleo with a few easy omissions...) Due to a recent giant change in my life, I have had to re-learn how to do quicker cooking while still using whole foods and cooking gluten-free. I was recently hired as a full-time private chef for a local family. Between meal planning, shopping, cooking and delivery for this gig, leaving limited time to cook for my own family. But I live by the creed that I refuse to be the proverbial "cobbler". This recipe came out of that.
I could go on with lots of verbage, but in the spirit of quick I'm going to skip right to the recipe.
Notes: As always, there is room for interpretation. I had smoked Italian Sausage, but fresh would work well and actually be better, I just didn't have it when I came up with this. C.hange regular potatoes to sweet potatoes if you like. See below for my secret ingredient that adds lots of flavor for no extra cost (you've probably been throwing this away, but now you won't.)
Step by Step:
Prep all your ingredients
Saute the sausage and veggies
Transfer to Slow Cooker and add remaining ingredients
Add Spices and Chicken Broth
Tuck in the Secret Ingredient - Parmesan Rinds (they add saltiness, a little creaminess and lots of umami)
After cooking for designated time (depending on slow cooker setting), serve this warming soup with crusty bread with a sharp cheese.
- 1 tbsp neutral oil such as sunflower or avocado
- 1 lb Italian sausage, cut into slices if smoked or crumbled into big chunks if fresh
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 zucchini, optional
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- Parmesan rind if you have it
- 1 sprig of thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1 sprig of sage (or 1/2 tsp dried)
- Big pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, optional
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 small russet or red potatoes cut into 1" pieces
- 1/2 head dino kale cut into ribbons
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
- In a large skillet, heat oil and saute sausage until browned. Add onion, celery and carrot and saute until translucent. Transfer to a slow cooker and layer with remaining ingredients except beans.
- Turn slow cooker to low and cook for 8 hours or high and cook for 4 hours.
- A few minutes before serving, puree half of beans and add along with remaining whole beans to slow cooker. Cover and let cook for a few more mintues to warm through.
- Serve with crusty bread and sharp cheddar or other sharp cheese.