Paleo Zuppa Toscana

So Christmas is officially over for Pat and I.  We were very fortunate that he was in good enough health to enjoy the festivities.  Both us of unfortunately, were dealing with colds, and felt “kinda crappy” but overall able to enjoy everything.

Prior to the holidays I had decided to be a lot more strict with my diet following the holidays.  Without excessive, and unnecessary detail I have been having some really uncomfortable GI issues.  Pat and I used to joke that I had “sympathy crohn’s”….

I am doubtful I have real (or sympathy) crohn’s, however I am curious to find out what eliminating some common triggers will do for me.  It is my intention after the first of the year to start the Whole 30 plan – and see if I get a positive result GI – wise.  If not I’ll likely move to a more aggressive elimination diet or allergy testing.

I am not a believer in “cleanses” or “resetting your metabolic clock”.  I do believe that if you put junk in your body it can really mess with it, and I also believe that with a lot of foods these days there are enough additives and such things that our bodies don’t exactly know how to metabolize.

Essentially what I am setting out to do is be in the most control possible of my diet.  This will really be put to the test in January – I just got a new job, and I will be traveling quite a bit, however, I like to think I have enough skills and training to be able to make really good decisions and plan ahead.

Part of that is here- this recipe.  It is a really simple recipe that is not only incredibly easy to make, but it’s cost effective, and it has a pretty rich flavor from the mushrooms, and ghee but it’s not a cream based soup.  Best part: it’s a one pot wonder!

Sarah Jean's Zuppa Toscana

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print



  • 1 lb ground beef, bison, turkey, or italian sausage
  • 1 16 oz container mushrooms (your choice, I used baby bella)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 cups chicken broth or beef broth
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 2-3 medium sized parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1-2 sliced shallots


  1. In a large stock pot add your ghee, shallots, and mushrooms, then add your salt/pepper
  2. Once your mushrooms are browned add your meat to brown
  3. Once your meat is mostly browned add your broth and bring that to full boil
  4. Once boiled add your parsnips, reduce your heat to simmer
  5. Let everything simmer together for 15-20 minutes until your parsnips are nice and tender
  6. Then add the coconut milk (it gives the broth the look and mouth feel of a creamy soup base), and add your kale



This recipe is perfect for those who do weekly meal preps – I had this going while I was doing 4-5 other things, and it was wonderful!  What made it double wonderful was that I only dirtied one pot!

One modification I made to the recipe was I did not add the kale into the soup.  Since Pat is still on a low fiber diet – he can’t really have kale…so I filled my bowl up with meat and veggies, added the kale, then add the broth on top of that, and mixed everything together with my spoon – it turned out perfectly!

This recipe is gluten free and dairy free, and technically paleo.

It was also freaking delicious.  Because let’s be real here – that’s what matters most.

This was also our first time trying out parsnips!

I know that they are in the same family as carrots and celery, and that they can be mashed like potatoes, but that’s about all I knew.

If I had to describe them to anyone: “a parsnip is like if a potato and a carrot made a beautiful baby” – Half Human Half RD

Texture wise they are like potatoes, taste wise they remind me of carrots.  Parsnips are a good source of vitamin C, magnesium, fiber, folate, and potassium (looking at you runners).  Pat is pretty picky when it comes to vegetables, but he tried one and really liked it!

Overall the Zuppa is a huge hit between the two of us right now.  More to come this week, on how I am fairing sans dairy, gluten, and other cheesy, gluten-y treasures.

Don’t break my heart and wait until the New Year to make your health(ier) eating changes!  There is no time like the present – yes that means today!

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