Tuscan Soup with Sweet Potato, Sausage and Wilted Greens

  • Servings: 8-10 servings
  • Prep time: ~ 15 minutes
  • Cook time: ~ 30 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 pound sausage
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Back to Organic Lemon Twist or Tuscan Himalayan Pink Salt, more to taste
  • 1-2 pinches hot chili flakes
  • 2 quarts Pacific Organic Chicken Stock
  • pinch fennel pollen or ground fennel seeds
  • 6 sweet potatoes
  • 1 yellow potato
  • 2 cups Turnip greens, chopped
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 -1 cup Parmesan Cheese, to taste
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, to finish

Here is a little taste of what is to come this March in Kevin Gillespie’s new cookbook.  It is a Tuscan style soup usually served with creamy yellow potatoes and kale but for the market he chose Burge Organic Farms sweet potatoes and turnip greens so you can get comfortable with another yummy green besides trendy kale.  Don’t get me wrong, kale is definitely a green you should be eating but not every day and especially not raw since you can overload on vitamin K and there is a potential link to high consumption of cruciferous vegetables and thyroid issues.


Add spinach to this soup if you are at risk for thyroid issues or have hypothyroidism.  If you still want to use Kale or turnip greens, make sure you nibble on some Brazilian nuts, eat seaweed or other foods rich in iodine.

Kevin adds the greens at the very end of cooking for maximum flavor and to retain most of the nutritious antioxidants and glucosinolates. By gently stirring them in and placing the lid on the soup, they will wilt in a couple minutes.  The greens also add texture to the very soft potato soup.  He cuts them in a method called chiffonade so they look like thin ribbons floating between the potatoes and sausage.

To create a superior soup or dish, Kevin spoke about the importance of balancing the primary flavors: sweet, salty, bitter, sour and savory (unami).  The acidic lemons brighten the soup and add depth. Sea salt is layered throughout the cooking process to provide the salty flavor.  Sweet potatoes give the sweetness and the starch thickens the soup.  The parmesan cheese provides the savory and the turnip greens are naturally bitter due to the calcium content.  All these flavors balance the overall taste making you want more which is a very good thing since this is such a healthy soup.

Yes, I said healthy even with the pork sausage. You can substitute a turkey or chicken sausage for this soup but you will need to add butter or more oil for the fat.  Since olive oil is traditionally used in Tuscan dishes, he uses a everyday cooking olive oil from Arbequina and finishes with a higher quality extra virgin olive oil from Liguria. Normally he cooks with grape seed oil since it has a neutral taste, high smoke point at about 445 F and is nutritionally dense with omegas. I love that he does not use Canola oil as his everyday.

If you were not at the Morningside Market to taste his food, then venture to Gunshow in Edgewood with communal tables so customers can relax and personally feel connected with the food presented to them by the chefs, including Kevin.  Next year there will be two new restaurants you can visit.  One will be a barbecue joint on the Northwest side near Bolton and Marietta called Terminus City and the other in Alpharetta in Avalon with handcrafted sausages and beers called Cold Beer.


1)  Brown the Sausage- Add 2 tablespoons of EVVO to a hot sauce pan large enough to hold 12 cups of liquid. Add 1 pound of ground sausage to the hot oil. Use your spoon to break up the sausage mass into a thin layer and stir to cook it evenly. Brown all sides for about 3 to 5 minutes.

2) Make the Soup- Thinly slice 1 onion. It is a rustic dish so you do not need to make meticulous knife cuts. Peel and slice 5 cloves of garlic. Do not mince or it will burn. Saute the onion and garlic until soft and then add a nice pinch of salt and hot chili flakes. Do not add the Back to Organic Lemon Twist or Tuscan Himalayan Pink salt early or it will draw out the liquids in the onions. You will have brown bits on the bottom of the pan which is good for flavor.  Add 2 quarts of Pacific Chicken Stock.  Add a pinch of fennel pollen or ground fennel seeds and stir. Bring to a rolling boil.  Peel 6 sweet potatoes and 1 yellow potatoes and slice them with a mandoline.  Add the potato slices to the pot and aggressively boil for about 15 minutes with the lid on to soften the potatoes. Wash and chiffonade the turnip greens.  Turn off the heat.

Note: Kevin recommends the $25 handheld Benriner Japanese Mandoline slicer.  To save your fingers from getting sliced on the mandoline,  only use about 3/4 of the potato. Dice the small nubs of potato left over with a knife and use for another dish.


2) Season the Soup and Serve- Squeeze 2 lemons over the soup being careful to catch the seeds. Taste and add more fennel, chili or salt. Add the turnip greens, stir and place the lid back on the pot.  Add the olive oil and stir.  Taste again.  Add parmesan cheese and stir then serve with some parmesan cheese on top.


Fun Facts

  •  ”In February 2014, Gunshow earned the seventh spot on GQ magazine’s list of “12 Most Outstanding Restaurants” and in October 2014, Gunshow was honored as one of 12 restaurants on Esquire’s “Best New Restaurants of 2014” list.”
  • “As a rising young culinary star who was bringing more than just good food to the table, Gillespie was named one of Mother Nature Network’s top “40 Chefs Under 40” in November 2009 for linking farms to forks and promoting better health for people and the planet. In February of 2010, he was honored as one of Gayot.com’s “Top Five Rising Chefs” and named as a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Rising Star Chef of the Year”award. A few months later, in June, Gillespie was invited toprepare a meal at the James Beard House in New York City and was also featured on “Cooking with Emeril” on SIRIUS Satellite Radio. In 2010, Gillespie was selected as a Celebrity Chef Ambassador for the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program and also received The Art Institute of Atlanta’s Distinguished Alumni Award for his outstanding accomplishments in the restaurant industry. Gillespie accepted this alumni award in December 2010 at the school’s graduation ceremony where he also served as the commencement speaker. In 2011, Gillespie was again named a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Rising Star Chef of the Year” award and nominated for Food & Wine’s “The People’s Best New Chef.” Gillespie has even been honored in cartoon form; in September 2011 he performed the voiceovers for his own character on the season premiere of “Squidbillies” on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. In this episode, the main character is dying from asbestos exposure and gets threewishes granted, one of which is to have a meal prepared by Chef Kevin Gillespie. In November 2011, Gillespie served as a keynote speaker for the international conference of Les Dames d’Escoffier, a worldwide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. In December 2011, he was named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” in the magazine’s listing of tomorrow’s brightest stars.”  Melissa Libby & Associates

Photo by Angie Mosier


Recipe by Kevin Gillespie, owner and chef of Gunshow
Most of the photos by TC Brodnax at Morningside Market

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Recipe by Back To Organic at https://www.backtoorganic.com/tuscan-soup-with-sweet-potato-sausage-and-wilted-greens/