Vegan Zuppa Toscana
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.
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!
- 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.
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.
Be sure to scroll down for the complete and printable recipe card. This section covers notes on each ingredient and possible substitutions.
- 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.
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.
Add the Flour
Sprinkle the onions with the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes while stirring occasionally.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.
Vegan Zuppa Toscana
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Soup
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Vegan
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!
- 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)
- 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.
- Add Garlic: Add the garlic and sauté another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Deglaze Pan: Add the lemon juice to deglaze the pan, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pot back into the mixture.
- Add Flour: Sprinkle the mixture with the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve: Serve immediately with fresh cracked black pepper and bread for dipping.
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.
- 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
Amazingly delicious!!. So easy to make and so so good. Thank you for creating such a yummy soup.
You are very welcome! So glad you liked it.
Making this recipe for the third time in two weeks. Cooking for a friend who has diabetes so omitted the potatoes, took out the salt and added a ton of sautéed mushrooms. Divine, again!! Awesome recipe!!
Just made this today and it’s so rich and delish! Used one link of apple sage vegan sausage and cut the salt in half. Only had full fat coconut milk so added a bit of water. Great recipe good enough for company!!
That sounds perfect! So glad it was enjoyed. Thank you for the review!
Hi can I substitute the all purpose flour for a different flour? If so what? Or could I omit it all together?
You could use whole wheat flour or spelt flour instead. You could maybe use a cornstarch or arrowroot slurry but I haven’t tried it with an alternative thickener so I can’t say for sure! Let me know if you try it.
This looks so good! I’m wondering if I could add white kidney beans for some extra protein and fibre. If I used canned white kidney beans would I add them in at step 7 (after blending soup, at the same time as the coconut milk)? And would you recommend omitting/reducing the amount of potato? Thanks so much!
This is so good. I ate it for lunch and dinner and lunch the next day. It will be a staple on my menu plan. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us!
You are so welcome! Thanks for trying it!
I followed the instructions exactly as well as the additional tip of adding Beyond Meat Italian sausage. This turned out perfect in my opinion and tasted exactly as I hoped it would as I used to love this at Olive Garden but the heaviness always made me sick. The vegan version does not sacrifice taste or texture. My husband loved it and ate most of it so I only got 1 serving so plan to make again this week.
Awesome! So glad you guys enjoyed it. Thanks so much for the review and feedback!
Loved it and would def make it again. But I winged it on the cashew cream. How much should I use? I soaked one cup of nuts and then added some water in the blender. Soup is very forgiving to non precise measurements!
It’s in the recipe notes…3/4 cup nuts and 1.5 cups water. Always a good idea to browse through the blog post as I always includes lots of tips and notes like that! So glad it worked out for you either way though. Thanks for the review!
Whoops thanks! Was doing it from my phone, which is probably not a great idea.
OMG!! I loooved it!! It was so good, Even though I didn’t use coconut milk. Thanks!!
Yay! So glad you enjoyed it, Anna! Thanks for letting me know.
I made this already as soon as I received your post. I substituted fresh organic spinach for the kale and fresh cashew milk instead of coconut milk. My initial taste test is delicious- simmering now on stove. Thank You.
Amazing! Hope you enjoyed the finished soup! Thanks for letting me know.