Many of my recent clients are following a Paleo-leaning or AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) diet, part of which requires obtaining high nutrient density per calorie. So, I have been delving into meals that fit that profile. I am finding that this style of cooking does not have to be complicated at all. I love it when something really simple comes out delicious and nutritionally complex. Enter this quick, rainy day soup. Not only is it Paleo, but it’s clean, weight management friendly, and can be converted to vegan very easily. If you want to go vegan and are not concerned about avoiding certain plant based foods, you can replace the sausage with cannellini beans, but since the sausage brings some flavor to the soup, you may need to ramp up the herbs and garlic to compensate.
tuscan kale soup with sausage
1 pound of your favorite organic sausage (like organic chicken basil or wild boar), cut up into pieces or made into meatballs
NOTE: For a vegan variation use cannellini beans, hemp tofu, or sprouted organic tofu
2 medium carrots cut into large pieces
2 celery stalks, sliced across the grain
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp. fennel seeds, crushed or partially ground in a coffee grinder
6-8 cups vegetable of chicken broth, warmed
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. chopped fresh herbs like sage, thyme, and rosemary
1 medium zucchini, cut into hearty pieces
1 bunch of kale, de-stemmed and sliced or chopped
1 tbsp. coconut oil or other cooking oil
Sea salt & pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large soup pot and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook vegetables until the start to become tender. Add fennel seed and cook a few minutes more. Add warm broth and bring to a boil. Add sausage, garlic, and chopped herbs, and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat and simmer on low just until vegetables are tender and flavors are rendered, about 15-20 minutes. Add zucchini and simmer for about 5-10 more minutes. Just before serving, add the kale and stir until it is wilted and mixed into the soup. Serve with lemon wedges, and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast or a good grated hard cheese.