Don’t worry if you don’t have an Instant Pot because I have instructions below for this Healthy Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana to be made in the slow cooker, as well as the stove top! My first goal was to make this beloved soup a little healthier and allergy friendly by eliminating the heavy cream. I’ve also included recipe to notes for if you want to make this Whole 30 compliant as well.
I could start off today by telling you that you can cook this soup in your Instant Pot in just 5 minutes! Well… that always sounds good doesn’t it? However I thought I’d do a little math in the way of using the stopwatch function on my phone.
Turns out that while the Instant Pot will cook your soup in 5 minutes, it takes 15 minutes to get up to pressure, 5 minutes to cook, and 8 minutes to pressure release the fast way. So all told, that’s actually 28 minutes, a far cry from a catchy 5 minutes right!?! The Instant Pot can be sneaky like that because what you actually program into the machine is just 5 minutes on the timer.
Of course being of a curious personality, I wanted to see if I could do this in the same amount of time on the stove top. And it turns out the cooking time for the Instant Pot vs. the stove top battle was a tie – they take the same time for this soup.
Where the Instant Pot really shines is when you have tough cuts of meat you want to be tender in a short amount of time. But I do have to say, the Instant Pot version of this soup has the edge by a tiny bit. The texture of the potatoes is definitely more creamy and so good!
To begin, you’ll want to prep all your ingredients.
The bacon and sausage get sautéed first before you add the onions and spices.
Then everything but the kale and coconut milk go in, and cook into cozy, comforting perfection.
Once the cooking time is up and the pressure has been released (either naturally or with the quick release valve) you add the kale and coconut milk. I just stirred mine in and let the residual heat wilt the kale.
Then it’s time to season to taste and serve immediately.
Since I’ve done a bit of testing on this recipe, we’ve been having the leftovers for lunches, and it’s been great from a meal prep perspective too. This soup is absolutely going into our regular meal prep rotation because it’s so easy to make, and incredibly satisfying.
One final note about flavor – you might wonder if you can taste the coconut milk in this recipe. It’s what makes it creamy, effectively eliminating the heavy cream.
I let my recipe testers eat the soup first, then I asked if they could tell what I used to make it creamy, (I wanted to be really sure you couldn’t taste the coconut flavor). And the good news is, neither of my testers, (Tyler and my mom this time around) had a clue there was coconut milk in it. So hurrah if you’re like me and do not, I repeat definitely do not want to taste coconut milk in your Zuppa Toscana.
(Extra note: the cooking time does say 5 minutes which is technically correct, but just know with all the extras, it’s actually more like 30 minutes for either the Instant Pot or the stove top.)Print
The ultimate comfort soup made healthier and Whole 30 compliant as well!
4 slices bacon, 6 oz, see notes
1 pound mild Italian sausage, see notes
1/2 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 Teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed, see notes
1 Teaspoon Italian seasoning, see notes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced 1/4″, 3 cups
3-4 Yukon gold potatoes, 1 lb 3 oz, diced into 1″ cubes
4 cups Homemade Chicken Stock, see notes
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/2 large bunch of kale, washed, ribs remove and thinly sliced, 4 cups
1 cup coconut cream, see notes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the Instant Pot, (6 quart) version of this soup, turn it to the sauté setting. Add the bacon to the pan and cook until it’s beginning to brown. Then add the sausage and use a metal or wooden spoon to break it up into bite sized pieces.
Add the spices and stir to combine. Then add the garlic and onions and stir again before adding the potatoes, chicken stock, and sea salt.
Secure the lid, make sure the valve is set to ‘sealing’ and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. When the cooking time is done, quick release the pressure, then add the kale and coconut milk.
Stir until completely mixed, then season to taste with sea salt and pepper. When the kale is tender, 3-5 minutes, serve immediately.
Any leftovers keep well for at least 4 days in the refrigerator, and it’s perfect for lunches.
Sauté the bacon and sausage in a large soup pot, then add the spices, garlic, and onions. Stir to combine, then add the potatoes, chicken stock, and sea salt. Bring to a boil, partially covered with a lid and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the kale and coconut milk, stir to combine and season to taste, and serve when the kale is tender.
After the bacon, sausage, spices, garlic, and onions have been sautéed on the stove top. Transfer that mixture along with everything else, except the kale and coconut milk to a slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or 3-4 hours on high. When the cooking time is done, and the potatoes are tender, proceed with the recipe as directed in the stove top directions.
For both the sausage and bacon read the labels carefully to be sure they’re Whole 30 compliant, (no sugar/additives/dairy).
I crushed my fennel seeds in a mortar and pestal, but you can also use ground fennel. I prefer to buy fennel seeds, because they take just seconds to crush and have so much more flavor. I also don’t use fennel all that often, so ground fennel looses it’s flavor too fast to keep it in the pantry for me.
For the Italian seasoning be sure and read the label. I use the one from Simply Organic because there’s no salt, sugar, additives, or dairy added.
The amount of salt you’ll need will depend on what chicken stock you use. When you use store bought, chances are you’ll need less salt than homemade, (I don’t salt my homemade stock).
For the coconut cream, you can scoop that from the top of a refrigerated can of coconut milk. Or if it’s available in your area, you can buy cans of coconut cream.
Keywords: Instant Pot, Whole 30, Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free