The Best Vegetarian Zuppa Toscana
This Vegetarian Zuppa Toscana features a mixture of fresh kale, thinly sliced potatoes, cream, and a flavorful spice blend. This recipe is made without meat or meat alternatives. It’s a satisfying and hearty takeout inspired meal that’s great year-round. Makes 9 cups of soup.
This is one of those recipes I didn’t know I needed. I always picked out the sausage (those rare times we went to OG and I ordered this soup)–but I loved the cream and potato base. I would have been making this dish long before I became vegetarian if I would’ve thought about. For those of you who are new here (welcome!) I’ve been a vegetarian for 3 years and most of the recipes I share are my home versions of a dish I used to love (ya know, before going veg). This version of Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana is vegetarian and definitely fits the bill for us to enjoy the soup now 🙂
Highlights of The Best Vegetarian Zuppa Toscana:
- Easy to make and ready in under 50 minutes- great for any day!
- Spicy and Rich (but not too spicy or too rich)
- Comforting and delicious
- A hearty, restaurant style meal at home
- Meat free (and no meat alternatives!)
Keys to Making this Soup:
- Use real heavy cream and real butter (yep–full fat and all.)
- Kale should be kept small (1 inch or so)
- Potatoes cut at 1/4 inch thick (this thickness means some will fall apart but most will stay intact so you’ll have a good variety)
The Best Vegetarian Zuppa Toscana
For the Italian Spice Blend:
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/8 tsp crushed fennel
- 1/8 tsp paprika
For the soup:
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 3 large russet potatoes, cut to 1/4 inch thick
- 2 cups Curly or Lacinato Kale, stems removed + small chop ~1 inch squares
- 1 large onion, diced small (yellow or white)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 Tbl butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt/pepper to taste
Prepare Italian Spice Blend:
- Mix all of the dried spices together in a dish and set aside.
Make the soup:
- In a large stockpot, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add in the onion, garlic and spice blend, stirring to coat the onions/garlic with the spices. Cook until soft and fragrant, 5 minutes stirring occasionally.(the goal here is for the spices to adhere to the onion–helps keep them from floating throughout the soup)
- Stir in vegetable broth and potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender but not falling apart, 23-25 minutes.
- Add in kale and cook until pieces tender and bright green–2-3 minutes.
- Stir in heavy cream and simmer until heated through, 5 more minutes.
- Serve as desired and enjoy! Top with fresh parsley, salt and pepper or some (vegetarian) Parmesan.Soup will keep in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Excellent on day 2! Freezing not recommended due to cream.
- We highly recommend using real heavy cream and the full amount of butter.
- We have tested using alternatives (milk, half and half, less butter, etc) but the creaminess of the soup really depends upon the heavy cream.
- We leave the skins on our potatoes but this is just preference–peeled would be great, too!
- Italian Sausage Spice Blend adapted from: https://www.tastesoflizzyt.com/homemade-italian-sausage-seasoning/
- Recipe adapted from: https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a45873/copycat-olive-garden-zuppa-toscana-recipe/
Give this a try next time you want some restaurant style flavors at home 🙂 Or as a great appetizer for Italian night! Share this with your vegetarian friends or anyone eating less meat 🙂
Have a great week!