So ever since yesterday's St. Patrick's Day Shamrock Shake recipe, I've been feeling a little inspired to make more vegan-style copycat recipes of popular chain restaurant foods for all you Vegan Vinglers out there. So much so that if you look at the bottom of this card, you should see that I created a new community especially for them! Feel free to follow it, and I'll be adding a whole slew of fun copycat recipes, including entrees, appetizers, and every single Starbucks pastry. (Because seriously. Someone needs to veganize their pumpkin loaf cake.)
The following is a recipe for Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana. It's incredibly creamy with nice chunks of sausage and bacon inside. And did I mention this recipe is vegan?! This is the perfect soup for March's 'lion' weather. Try it out in your kitchen!
Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana: Veganized!
(Makes 6 servings)
6 slices vegan bacon, diced (Any seitan-based vegan bacon works best for this recipe. My personal favorite is Upton's Naturals Bacon Seitan.)
1 package Tofurkey Italian sausages (You could also probably use Field Roast brand or Gimme Lean's sausage crumbles. Just work with with roughly 14 - 16 ounces worth.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
4 cups vegetarian chicken broth (You can usually find 'chicken flavored' vegetarian broth at Asian supermarkets and natural food stores, but if you can't, a broth made from onion bouillon won't give you the EXACT flavor, but should be pretty delicious.)
3 russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cups baby spinach
1 1/2 cups silken tofu, blended to a cream consistency
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1) Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
2) Add veggie sausage to the skillet and cook until browned, about 3 - 5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; set aside.
3) Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
4) Stir in sausage and spinach until spinach begins to wilt, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in silken tofu mixture until heated through, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
5) Serve immediately, garnished with a little more veggie bacon.