This creamy vegan zuppa Toscana soup with potato and kale is easy to make in one pot for a healthy and delicious dairy-free meal.

Two bowls of creamy vegan zuppa Toscana soup with chunks of potato and kale. A spoon rests in one of the bowls.

About this Soup

This soup recipe features a garlic cream broth with chunks of potato and kale and is inspired by Italian zuppa Toscana soup, popularized in North American by the Olive Garden restaurant.

The soup is easy to make in one pot, though does require some blending, and is ready to enjoy in under 40 minutes.

It’s easy to customize by adding vegan sausage or white beans, stores and reheats well and is delicious served with your favourite bread for dipping.

The recipe is made with simple, wholesome ingredients for a flavourful result that’s perfect for warming up on a cold day and is sure to become a comfort food favourite the whole family enjoys!

Highlights

  • Vegetarian and vegan (dairy-free).
  • Can be made gluten-free.
  • Ready in 40 minutes.
  • One pot recipe.
  • Pantry ingredients.
  • Easy to customize.
  • Made with healthy ingredients.
  • Good for meal prep.
Close up of a bowl of zuppa toscana soup with potato and kale.

What is zuppa toscana?

Zuppa toscana is an Italian soup that translates as “Tuscan soup”. Classic zuppa toscana is made with lots of vegetables, potatoes, white beans, olive oil, bacon and crusty Tuscan bread.

The Americanized version of the soup, popularized by the Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana, typically features heavy cream, sausage and potato.

Ingredient Notes

Be sure to scroll down for the complete and printable recipe card. This section covers notes on each ingredient and possible substitutions.

All of the ingredients needed for making a vegan zuppa Toscana recipe with potato, onion and kale. Each ingredient is labelled with text.
  • Oil: Use extra virgin olive oil to saute or swap for vegetable broth for oil-free soup. You can substitute butter or plant-based butter if you prefer.
  • Chili Flakes: You can omit these if sensitive to spice.
  • Fennel Seeds: If you don’t have fennel seeds you can substitue 1 tsp of ground fennel.
  • Dried Thyme and Oregano: Use these dried herbs for convenience or substitute 2-3 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs. You could also substitue 2 tsp Italian seasoning for the oregano and thyme.
  • Smoked Paprika: Adds a bit of smoky flavour to the soup. You can use regular paprika as a substitute along with a dash of liquid smoke if you have some.
  • Garlic: Raw garlic is best.
  • Lemon: You’ll need 1 lemon to make the lemon juice.
  • Flour: The recipe calls for all-purpose flour but you can substitute whole-wheat flour.
  • Broth: Use any homemade or store-bought vegetable broth. Carton or cubes/power/bouillon all work! I like Better than Bouillon.
  • Potato: Yukon gold potato is recommended but any yellow potato variety works.
  • Coconut Milk: Coconut milk replaces heavy cream in this recipe. The best substitute is cashew cream but soy milk or thick oat or almond milk would also work, just be sure you like the taste of the milk before adding it to the soup.
  • Kale: You’ll need fresh kale. Any variety works but lacinato kale (Tuscan kale) is preferred. Substitute spinach or Swiss chard if you like.

Step by Step Instructions

Cook Onion and Spices

Sauté the onions and spices in a large soup pot over medium heat for about 5 minutes until softened and fragrant.

Onions and spices cooking in a pot on a countertop hot plate surrounded by other ingredients like kale, milk and lemon in bowls.

Add Garlic & Lemon

Add the crushed garlic and sauté another 5 minutes then add the lemon juice to deglaze the pan, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pot back into the mixture.

Onions and garlic cooking in a pot surrounded by small bowls of lemon juice, milk and kale.

Add the Flour

Sprinkle the onions with the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes while stirring occasionally.

Flour sprinkled on onions in a pot on a hot plate with a bowl of kale beside it..

Blend Soup

Now you’ll add the stock and either use an immersion blender directly in the pot or transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth and then pour back into the pot.

This step is going to help create a nice creamy finish as well as break up the fennel seeds for more flavour.

Creamy blended soup cooking in a pot on a small cooktop.

Simmer Soup

After blending, add the potatoes, coconut milk, salt and pepper and bring the soup to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Add Kale

Finally, once the potatoes are cooked, turn off the heat and stir in the kale until soft and wilted. Give it a taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Overhead view of a pot of zuppa toscana soup with kale in it and a wooden spoon resting in the pot..

That’s it! It’s ready to serve. Serve your zuppa Toscana with plenty of pepper and a nice piece of crusty bread or garlic bread for dipping.

Other toppings that work well are cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, a dash of smoked paprika or cayenne pepper or a drizzle of cashew cream.

Overhead view of a bowl of creamy zuppa Toscana soup with kale and potatoes with a spoon in the bowl.

Additions

  • Add up to 2 cups cannellini beans when you add the kale.
  • You can use spinach instead of kale.
  • Stir in 2-3 tbsp of nutritional yeast at the end for cheesy flavour.
  • Serve sprinkled with this vegan cashew parmesan over top.
  • Serve with vegan bacon bits or try this coconut bacon.

FAQs

Can I add sausage to this recipe?

Definitely! I’d recommend Impossible or Beyond Meat Italian sausage or ground meat or Field Roast Italian sausage.

To add sausage to the soup, add to a the pot before starting the soup and break it up with a wooden spoon. Brown the sausage, stirring frequently for 7-8 minutes.

Remove from the pan and set aside, using the residual oils from the sausage to cook your onions. Add the browned sausage back to the soup when you add the kale.

Does the soup taste like coconut?

Since it’s made with light coconut milk, there is a very subtle coconut flavour. If you’re really not a fan of coconut, I would recommend trying cashew cream instead.

To replace the coconut milk with cashew cream, soak 3/4 cup raw cashews in boiled water for 30 minutes (or overnight) then drain and blend with 1.5 cups water until smooth and creamy. Use that instead of the 400 mL can of coconut milk.

Can this soup be made gluten-free?

To make this soup gluten-free, you can use a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend that contains ingredients like arrowroot flour, potato starch or tapioca starch (like Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur).

You can also substitute 1 tbsp cornstarch for the flour. Mix it with a little water to make a slurry before adding to the soup.

A bowl of zuppa Toscana soup with kale and potato sitting on a dish cloth on a counter top.

Storing & Reheating

  • Let cool for at least 30 minutes before storing.
  • Fridge: Store in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer: Store in a sealed container (or containers for individual portions) for up to 3 months.
  • If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge.
  • Reheat as needed on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated to your preference. It thickened substantially after storing, thin by stirring in a little broth until it reaches your desired consistency.

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Two bowls of vegan zuppa toscana soup with potato and kale. Spoon rests in bowl.

Vegan Zuppa Toscana

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan
Save Recipe

Description

This vegetarian zuppa toscana soup is made with simple, wholesome ingredients for a flavourful result that’s perfect for warming up on a cold winder day. Enjoy this dairy-free recipe as written or try it with vegan sausage for a real treat!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (30 ml, use vegetable broth for oil-free version)
  • 2 small white onion, diced (300g)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 cloves of garlic, pressed or grated (10 g)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (30 ml)
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour (25 g)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (1000 ml)
  • 2 yellow potato, peeled and diced (500 g)
  • 1 400 ml can light coconut milk
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups lacinato kale, stems removed and chopped (75 g)

Instructions

  1. Cook Onion and Spices: See notes if you’d like to add sausage to this recipe, otherwise, add the olive oil to a a large soup pot with the onions, spices (red pepper flakes, fennel, thyme, oregano, paprika) and a pinch of salt and pepper and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes until softened and fragrant while stirring often.
  2. Add Garlic: Add the garlic and sauté another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Deglaze Pan: Add the lemon juice to deglaze the pan, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pot back into the mixture.
  4. Add Flour: Sprinkle the mixture with the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add Broth and Blend: Add the vegetable broth and either carefully use an immersion blender in the pot to puree or transfer the soup to a blender to puree then pour back into the pot. This will help with the creaminess of the soup as well as breaking up the fennel seeds for more flavour.
  6. Simmer Soup: After blending, add the potatoes, coconut milk, salt and pepper and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  7. Add Kale: Once the potatoes are fork tender, stir in the chopped kale and turn off the heat. Let sit for a couple of minutes to allow the kale to soften. If you prepared sausage at the beginning, add that now as well.
  8. Serve: Serve immediately with fresh cracked black pepper and bread for dipping.

Notes

Let cool until no longer steaming before storing. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat stovetop or in the microwave until heated to your preference.

To make this with cashew cream instead of coconut milk, soak 3/4 cup of raw cashews overnight then blend with 1.5 cups of water and use that instead of the can of coconut milk.

Feel free to add vegan sausage into this recipe, I like to use field roast Italian sausage. I would recommend cooking it at the beginning, removing from the pan before adding the onions and spices. Using the residual oils cooked from the sausage to cook your onions. Then adding sausages back into the soup when adding in your kale. You could also stir in some chickpeas or white beans at this point for an alternative to sausage.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe
  • Calories: 213
  • Sodium: 512 mg
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 5 g

Keywords: vegan zuppa toscana, vegetarian zuppa toscana