Traditionally, Zuppa Toscana soup is made with heavy cream and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. However, recently my health has taken a turn and there needs to be swift and drastic changes in my diet. Two big changes are going Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free. The recipe today is my traditional Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Zuppa Toscana soup.
Published July 17, 2023
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Why Gluten AND Dairy-Free?
The past four years, I have personally struggled with a lot of health issues. In addition to having serious migraines for the first time in my life, compounding allergies and food sensitivity, gut issues and exhaustion lead me to seek out a functional health specialist.
In our country, the mass amount of medicine and healthcare that is unnecessary is astounding.
For example, in July 2021, my new OB and I were convinced that a hysterectomy was the best course of action to heal my issues. I can tell you, first-hand, that hindsight is truly 20-20. These issues were compounded by half a lifetime of an autoimmune disease left undiagnosed.
Looking back on the last two years, going into my OB for checks and asking for lab work, blood tests and help was foolish. Foolish because it was a wasted effort, resulting in more pain, less answers and more questions. Foolish because as I begged for help, only to be given false hope and more insecurity, prescriptions for antidepressants, and told, “there shouldn’t be anything wrong, a hysterectomy will NOT mess with your hormones”, only to leave more defeated and confused.
Fast forward to a few months ago, and this exhausted momma went to find a new approach to find answers. Welcome to my life, female hormone specialist Dr. Randi Mann and the wonderful staff at Wise Woman Wellness. Their goal is to help women, teens to adulthood, balance their hormones and find the ROOT of any unbalances, correct them with healthy supplements, diet needs, allergy sensitivity tests, hormone help and care.
With an almost exhausting bloodwork panel, thyroid test, exam and the most comprehensively invasive medical history possible, it was found that this lady is estrogen dominant with progesterone levels low, Iodine deficient, clinically diagnosed hypothyroidism, Vitamin D deficient, Ferritin levels low, Vitamin B12 low, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone high (TSH), Thyroglobulin Antibody (TG Abs) WAY HIGH, low cortisol and to top it all off, 99% sure to be diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. This diagnosis will take more time and lab work to confirm.
So, the last two weeks have been a complete shift in diet, nutrition and health for this Scratch Kitchen Momma. The first step was to start a liver cleanse, drinking the “shake” for breakfast and lunch, then eating a normal dinner. This went on for two weeks, basically fasting all day.
In addition to the liver cleanse, which was disgusting, a daily multi-vitamin was added, probiotic, Vitamin D and adrenal gland support supplement. To top it off, she urged me to no longer drink alcohol and to completely cut out coffee from my daily diet. The coffee has been a difficult vice to remove. In the past, Chai tea has been a go-to, and may soon become so again. Reasonably, and in moderation, of course.
As the cherry on top, learning that gluten AND dairy are forms of inflammation for my body, causing gut issues and health issues, cutting out gluten and dairy from my diet were a new top priority.
As it stands, here is a list of foods I can no longer eat:
Wheat/Gluten – Barley, Wheat, Rye
Here is a list of foods I cannot eat RAW:
The foods to not eat RAW are because of my OAS – Oral Allergy Syndrome, sometimes called Pollen Allergy. When eating these foods in the raw state, it causes irritation and pain in my mouth.
The best way to describe OAS, is that when birch trees are releasing their pollen, the pollen then gets infused into fruits and vegetables. That birch pollen, being allergic to it, causes an oral allergy reaction in my mouth when eaten. However, cooking the food alters the protein and does not cause a reaction.
The interesting tidbit is that I could actually be causing gut issues when eating these fruits so it is one step that my hormone doctor will do when my hormone levels are balanced, to run more food tests to see which actually cause me inflammation.
Below is a chart showing the most common OAS pollen food reactions.
The start of a new journey
As I begin this new journey, towards rehabbing my health, getting my hormones and deficiencies balanced, I do hope you will continue to come along for the ride. I will be sharing some new Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free recipe choices and remaking some of our family favorites so that I can eat them as well.
This recipe for Dairy-Free Zuppa Toscana soup was fun to make, as it was my second recipe following my new restrictions. It turned out delicious, with a creamy base and packed with flavor. With the kale providing rich vitamins and Oat Milk replacing the dairy, this new recipe is still easy to make and hard to tell the difference for the kids.
Recipe for Dairy-Free Zuppa Toscana
Ingredients for Dairy-Free Zuppa Toscana
2 pounds Mild Italian Sausage
8 cups Water
2 cups Oat Milk
1 Onion, diced
4 tsp Soup Base Gluten-Free
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 cups Kale, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Place a 6-Quart Crock-Pot on the countertop.
2. In a sink colander, rinse the potatoes, then set them on a cutting board.
3. Peel the potatoes with a vegetable peeler. Rinse a second time if necessary.
Here is a pro-tip – place a large bowl next to your prep surface for scraps to be thrown away.
4. Using a sharp knife, cut the potatoes in half then dice them to 1/2-inch chunks.
5. Place the diced potatoes into the Crock-Pot.
6. Place a medium saucepan on the stove and heat to medium.
A cast iron skillet works well for cooking the sausage. If no cast iron, a traditional saucepan works well.
7. Using a knife, slice lengthwise on the Mild Italian Sausages, if using, removing the meat from the casing, then add them to the saucepan and cook until browned. If using ground sausage, cook it the same.
For this recipe, you can use Mild Italian Sausage, Traditional Sausage, Hot Sausage or whichever you prefer.
8. When the sausage is browned, add it to the Crock-Pot.
9. On the cutting board, peel and then dice 1 Onion.
10. To the saucepan, add the diced onions and cook until translucent. Around 2-5 minutes.
Typically, when onions are being sauteed, a butter is used and melted in the skillet ahead of time. However, needing to make a Gluten-Free recipe, butter was substituted with Coconut Oil. In all honestly, the coconut oil flavor does not come through into the recipe.
11. When cooked, add the onions to the Crock-Pot with the potatoes and sausage.
12. Measure 8 cups of water and add it to the Crock-Pot.
13. Measure and then add 2 cups Oat Milk to the Crock-Pot.
14. Add 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder OR 2 Garlic Cloves minced.
Recently, trying to find DECENT garlic has been crazy difficult. Because of this, I am SO glad to have my stash of Homemade Garlic Powder. Check out how you can do it by clicking the link HERE or below.
15. Add 4 teaspoons Gluten-Free Chicken Soup Base to the Crock-Pot. Mix the ingredients and then cover, cooking on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 4-6 hours.
This Soup Base is amazing, Gluten-Free and can be found at most grocery stores. Feel free to use chicken stock instead of water and soup base.
16. With 1/2 hour left to cook, rinse the Kale in the sink colander and then roughly chop the Kale, making sure any hard stem bits are also removed. Add the 2 cups Kale to the Crock-Pot, cover and cook.
17. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.
18. Serve and enjoy!
Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Zuppa Toscana Soup
- Cutting board
- Sink Colander
- 8 Potatoes
- 2 pounds Mild Italian Sausage
- 8 cups Water
- 2 cups Oat Milk
- 1 Onion diced
- 4 tsp Soup Base Gluten-Free
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 2 cups Kale chopped
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Place a 6-Quart Crock-Pot on the countertop.
- In a sink colander, rinse the potatoes, then set them on a cutting board.
- Peel the potatoes with a vegetable peeler.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the potatoes in half then dice them to 1/2-inch chunks.
- Place the diced potatoes into the Crock-Pot.
- Place a medium saucepan on the stove and heat to medium.
- Using a knife, slice lengthwise on the Mild Italian Sausages, if using, removing the meat from the casing, then add them to the saucepan and cook until browned. If using ground sausage, cook it the same.
- When the sausage is browned, add it to the Crock-Pot.
- On the cutting board, peel and then dice 1 Onion.
- To the saucepan, add the diced onions and cook until translucent. Around 2-5 minutes.
- When cooked, add the onions to the Crock-Pot with the potatoes and sausage.
- Measure 8 cups of water and add it to the Crock-Pot.
- Measure and then add 2 cups Oat Milk to the Crock-Pot.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder OR 2 Garlic Cloves minced.
- Add 4 teaspoons Gluten-Free Chicken Soup Base to the Crock-Pot. Mix the ingredients and then cover, cooking on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 4-6 hours.
- With 1/2 hour left to cook, rinse the Kale in the sink colander and then roughly chop the Kale, making sure any hard stem bits are also removed. Add the 2 cups Kale to the Crock-Pot, cover and cook.
- Add Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Serve and enjoy!
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