This Vegan Zuppa Toscana Soup is creamy and easy to make with vegan sausage, potatoes and kale and so much better than the Olive Garden version! It’s seasoned with an array of flavorful herbs & spices and simmered to perfection over the stove. Gluten-free, dairy-free and grain-free with low carb, keto, paleo and Whole30 options.
Vegan Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe
Looking for a cozy and comforting soup for these cold wintery days? This Vegan Zuppa Toscana Soup is a favorite! It’s a creamy sausage soup is Italian-inspired comfort food made vegan, and you’re going to savor every single bite of it! Makes a hearty lunch or dinner soup that comes together in a single pot with minimal effort. Plus, it’s packed with plenty of essential vitamins and minerals to support your body.
From the melt-in-your-mouth potatoes to the ultra-tender vegan sausage, everything mingles together in blissful harmony. The white wine adds richness and enhances all of the irresistible flavors in the soup, but you can choose to leave it out if you’d like. Either way, this cozy vegan soup is sure to become a new family favorite.
What is Zuppa Toscana?
Directly translating to “Tuscan soup,” zuppa Toscana underwent a few changes when Olive Garden popularized the dish in America. In Tuscany, it’s actually a bread soup (or minestra di pane) that contains beans, potatoes, Italian bacon, powdered chili and an array of fresh vegetables.
The classic American version of zuppa Toscana features Italian sausage, potatoes, red pepper flakes and kale or spinach. So they’re not too different in terms of ingredients, though the American version is fuller, creamier and naturally gluten-free. And this crave-worthy recipe makes it vegan!
Let’s talk about each and every item you will need to bring this sumptuous Italian-style soup to life. Buon appetito!
- Avocado Oil: Or olive oil.
- Italian-Style Vegan Sausage Links: Roughly chopped – we like the brand Field Roast. Feel free to use regular sausage like this Zuppa Toscana if you’re not vegan.
- Onion: Diced.
- Garlic: Freshly minced.
- Dry White Wine: Optional but recommended for depth of flavor.
- Fine Blanched Almond Flour: Or finely ground oat flour.
- Vegetable Broth: You may need a little extra broth to fully cover the potatoes.
- Russet Potatoes: Scrubbed, rinsed and cut into half-inch cubes.
- Dried Herbs: We use basil and thyme.
- Red Pepper Flakes: Added to taste.
- Full-Fat Coconut Milk: You’ll need a full can.
- Kale: Stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped. You can sub this for spinach if preferred.
- Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed.
- Salt & Pepper: To taste.
How to Make Vegan Zuppa Toscana
Once you’ve rounded up your ingredients, go ahead and grab a Dutch oven or a large soup pot. Let’s get cooking!
- Cook Sausage: Heat half a tablespoon of oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the vegan sausage while stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until browned, then transfer the sausage to a plate.
- Sauté Onions: Return the same pot to medium heat and add the remaining oil. Once the oil is simmering, add the onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until fragrant and slightly softened, stirring frequently.
- Add Garlic & Wine: Add the garlic and sauté for 1 more minute. If you’re using wine, pour it into the pot and let it reduce to half the original amount (1/4 cup), about 1 1/2 minutes.
- Mix in Flour & Some Broth: Sprinkle the flour into the pot and stir well to coat the onion and garlic. Cook for 1 minute, then slowly add 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth while whisking well to eliminate any lumps.
- Add Potatoes & Seasonings: Add the potatoes, spices & herbs and cook for around 2-3 minutes, or until the potatoes are fully coated.
- Finish Adding Broth & Bring to Boil: Add the remaining broth, plus more if needed to cover the potatoes completely. Increase the heat and bring the pot to a boil.
- Lower Heat & Simmer: Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the soup for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
- Add Coconut Milk, Sausage & Kale: Stir in the coconut milk, cooked sausage (reserving some for the topping) and kale.
- Continue Simmering: Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired. Let the soup simmer for 2 minutes, or until the kale leaves have softened.
- Remove From Heat & Add Lemon Juice: Remove the pot from the heat and squeeze in the lemon juice.
- Serve: Ladle the soup into serving bowls, place the reserved sausage slices on top and enjoy!
Tips for Success
Before you crank that dial and heat up the large burner on your stove, you’ll want to check out these handy tips and tricks.
- Use Fresh Lemon Juice: The tablespoon of lemon juice adds a lovely hint of citrus to this dish. I recommend squeezing it yourself from a fresh lemon for the tastiest result.
- Save Time with Pre-Diced Potatoes: It can take a little while to peel and slice up your potatoes into even sizes, so if you’re pressed for time, feel free to use refrigerated diced potatoes instead.
- Skim Off Excess Grease: Even though this zuppa Toscana soup uses vegan sausage, you may find that it contains a tiny bit more grease than you’d like. To remove it, simply let the soup cool in the pot for about 10 minutes, then use your ladle to slowly skim off the thin layer of fat that forms on the surface.
There are a whole lot of yummy toppings and garnishes you can use to finish off your soup. Here are some easy ideas:
- Fresh Oregano
- Vegan Parmesan
- Grain-Free Crackers
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Lemon Slices
- Gluten-Free Bread
- Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
- Rustic Sourdough
Zuppa Toscana soup is definitely hearty and satisfying enough to serve as a main dish. Try pairing it with one of the following sides!
- Serve with Caesar Salad: My Vegan Caesar Salad is a healthy veggie side dish that goes great with this sausage soup. Plus, it’s made in just 20 minutes!
- Pair with Roasted Squash: Tender on the inside, crispy on the outside and seasoned to your liking, this Roasted Butternut Squash will have you licking your lips. Whether you make it sweet or savory, it’s going to taste amazing alongside this soup.
- Serve with Brussels Sprouts: The caramelized flavor of these Crispy Brussels Sprouts is out of this world! They’re super easy to make with your trusty Air Fryer.
Storage and Reheating
Keep leftover vegan sausage soup in an airtight container in the fridge after it has fully cooled. It will last for 4-5 days. Warm it up in a large pot over low heat until it’s steaming, or reheat individual portions in the microwave.
Can I Freeze This?
This soup is best served fresh, but you can freeze cooled leftovers in a freezer-safe container if you’d like. Be sure to leave extra room in the container to allow the liquid to expand during the freezing process. I wouldn’t store this soup in the freezer for much longer than a couple of weeks. Thaw it out in the fridge overnight before reheating it.
More Cozy Soup Recipes
Homemade soup is a huge part of our lives, especially during the wintertime. Check out these comforting vegan soups next!
- Hearty Vegetable Pasta Soup
- Vegan Cauliflower Soup
- Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Creamy Vegan Broccoli Soup
- Easy Minestrone Soup
This Vegan Zuppa Toscana Soup is creamy and easy to make with vegan sausage, potatoes and kale and so much better than the Olive Garden version! It's seasoned with an array of flavorful herbs & spices and simmered to perfection over the stove. Gluten-free, dairy-free and grain-free with low carb, keto, paleo and Whole30 options.
- 2 1/2 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil, divided
- 2 Italian-style vegan sausage links such as Field Roast, roughly chopped. Can use regular if not vegan. Use Applegate for paleo or Whole30 option.
- 1 medium onion , diced
- 4 garlic cloves , minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine , optional but adds an extra depth of flavor.
- 1 1/2 tbsp fine blanched almond flour or finely ground oat flour if not grain-free
- 4 cups vegetable broth divided, plus more as needed
- 3 medium russet potatoes scrubbed, rinsed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Sub with 3 cups chopped turnips or kohlrabi for a low carb / keto alternative.
- 2 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
- 14 oz can full-fat coconut milk (400 ml)
- 1 bunch kale stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped (about 3 cups of kale, packed)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- salt & pepper to taste
Heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the sausage while stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until browned then transfer to a plate.
Return the same pot to medium heat and add the remaining oil. Once the oil is simmering, add the onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until fragrant and slightly softened, stirring frequently.
Add garlic and sauté for 1 more minute. If using wine, pour it into the pot and let it reduce to half (about 1 1/2 minutes).
Sprinkle the flour into the pot and stir well to coat the onion and garlic. Cook for 1 minute then slowly add 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth, while whisking well to eliminate any lumps.
Add the potatoes, seasoning and herbs and cook for around 2-3 minutes, until potatoes are fully coated. Add remaining broth or more as needed to cover the potatoes. Increase the heat and bring the pot to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in the coconut milk, cooked sausage (reserving some for topping) and kale.
Taste and adjust seasoning, as desired. Let simmer for 2 minutes, or until kale leaves have softened. Remove the pot from the heat and squeeze in the lemon juice.
Ladle into a bowl, garnish with chopped fresh oregano, some reserved cooked sausage, vegan parmesan, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, an extra lemon wedge, rustic sourdough, gluten-free bread or grain-free crackers, if desired.
- To Store & Reheat: Keep cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. Reheat in a large pot over low heat until steaming, or heat individual portions in the microwave.
- To Freeze: This soup is best fresh but can be frozen in a freezer-safe container for about 2 weeks. Leave extra room in the container to allow for expansion. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
Photography by: Casey Colodny / The Mindful Hapa