Tuscan Kale Soup is a quick and comforting meal to get you through the colder months. And, it’s vegan!
It’s always a huge success in my house when the omnivores in my home will eagerly eat a vegan meal and I’m happy to report that everyone lapped up this soup with gusto. Except for me, of course, with my picky ass.
I made this on live with my Patreon supporters and a recording of that live stream is available for replay on @dfhlive. Feel free to join us; I’d love to have you there! It’s always a ton of fun.
Tuscan Kale Soup Ingredients
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Tuscan Kale Soup recipe:
- Kale: Chopped up baby kale is best. Regular Tuscan kale, chopped and massaged is cool, too. I like to remove all stems from my greens, but this is up to you.
- Mirepoix, garlic, fire-roasted tomatoes: Carrots, onion, celery, garlic, and fire-roasted tomatoes serve as the flavor base – and they add texture, too – for this soup.
- Orzo: Feel free to use any short pasta you like. Good options would be orecchiette, radiatore, or small shells.
- Vegetable Broth: Not all vegetable broth is vegan. I like to use Better Than Bouillion Vegetable Base and it has a nice “certified vegan” sticker on it.
- Cannellini Beans: cannellini beans are white kidney beans. Use Great Northern beans instead if you can’t find them.
- Italian seasoning, dried thyme, dried oregano, red pepper flakes: liven it up! you can use fresh herbs if you like, but I recommend adding them in with the kale at the very end so their flavor is strongest.
How to Make Tuscan Kale Soup
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this recipe:
- Sautee the mirepoix. You’ll want to get the carrots, celery, and onion softened and fragrant before you add the other ingredients, then saute the garlic for a few minutes.
- Add tomatoes, vegetable stock, beans, and seasonings.
- Add orzo and simmer. It’ll take about 15-20 minutes for the Orzo to become plump and al dente. Add more vegetable broth, one-half cup at a time, if needed.
- Add the kale. Once the pasta is al dente add the Kale. You’ll likely need to go in batches, to allow the kale to wilt enough for more to fit.
- Ladle and serve. Portion it out, sprinkle on some fresh parsley, and if you’re not vegan might I suggest a sprinkle of aged parmesan over the top? It’s very tasty.
Switch it Up
There are always a ton of ways to customize any soup. Here are some ideas for how you can put your own spin on this Tuscan Kale Soup:
- Add chicken. Stick a couple of split chicken breasts in the soup in the very beginning and allow it to cook through, then remove and shred the meat. Put it back in the pot with the kale at the end.
- Substitute fresh spinach in place of kale. Originally when I was brainstorming this soup I proposed tomato and spinach to my kid, as it’s one of her favorite combinations. I chose Kale on a whim at the grocery store.
- Thicken it up. For a heartier broth, grab an extra can of beans. Drain them and toss them in the blender or food processor along with 1/4 C of vegetable broth. Blend into a puree and add it to the soup just before the kale (allow it to come to a simmer before you add the greens).
- Omit the beans. Don’t like legumes very much? Try replacing them with sauteed mushrooms, diced zucchini, or squash. You use cubes of tempeh or tofu – already seasoned and cooked, I suggest – as well.
You can check it out on her website by clicking the image above. You can also follow her on Instagram for some more inspiration.
After you pick that up and try my Tuscan Kale Soup, take a look at my Vegan Shepherd’s Pie recipe if you haven’t already. It includes instructions for making it the meat-eater way, too.
Here’s a graphic for Pinterest:Print
Soup, but make it filling. And plant-based.
- 1 lb chopped baby kale
- 1/2 lb orzo pasta
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 8–10 C vegetable stock, to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat, and add the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering add the carrots, onion, and celery. Sprinkle a pinch of kosher salt over everything, then saute until softened slightly, about 5-7 minutes.
- Once the mirepoix is softened, stir in the garlic, beans, tomatoes, and seasonings. Once the seasonings seem well-distributed stir in 8 cups of broth. Bring to a gentle boil.
- Once the broth is bubbling stir in the orzo. Cover and let cook until al dente, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pan as needed, ensuring the pasta doesn’t stick.
- Once the pasta is al dente begin adding the kale. Go in batches, stirring everything together. After all of the kale has been added, taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and serve.
- The orzo will continue to absorb the broth as the soup rests. You might need to add more broth to the soup when reheating.