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Landscape overhead photo of a white and blue bowl filled with Vegan Zuppa Toscana

Vegan Zuppa Toscana

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Creamy, hearty, and zesty, this Vegan Zuppa Toscana is pure comfort food ready in just 30 minutes and loaded with goodies.


Units Scale
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6+ cloves (up to a head) garlic, minced
  • 6 cups vegan chicken broth (6 cups water + 6 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base (see note 1)
  • 6 medium Russet potatoes (or any potato), scrubbed (peel if desired)
  • 1 bunch kale, washed (or other dark leafy green)
  • 2 cups cooked or 1 pound vegan sausage (see note 2)
  • 1 cup cashew cream (see note 3 for nut-free substitutions)
  • Vegan bacon bits (see note 4)
  • Vegan parmesan cheese (see note 5), optional


  1. Saute onion: Like most of my savory dishes, start by sauteing the onion in a large nonstick pot. You can use a little olive oil or vegan butter if you’d like, or you can cook without oil and just add a little splash of water (like a tablespoon) each time the onions start to stick. Saute the onions either way for about 4 minutes or until softened and translucent.
  2. Saute garlic: Add the garlic and saute for another minute, stirring continuously.
  3. Add broth and potatoes: Add the vegan chicken broth and the potatoes now and bring to a boil.
  4. Cook until potatoes are tender: Turn the heat down to medium and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.
  5. Prep cashew cream: Blend raw cashews (soak beforehand if you do not have a high-powered blender) with water until smooth. Set aside.
  6. Prep kale: Rip the washed kale from the stem and roughly chop.
  7. Add kale: At the 7 or 8 minute mark, add the kale and stir until it wilts into the soup.
  8. Add vegan sausage and cashew cream: When the potatoes are done, you can add the vegan sausage and the cashew cream to the pot, stirring and bringing to heat for about a minute or two.
  9. Top and serve: Remove from heat and serve immediately, topping with a generous amount of vegan bacon bits and grated vegan parmesan cheese or vegan parmesan topping. Enjoy!
  10. Store: Refrigerate leftover soup for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months in a freezer safe airtight container.


  • Note 1: I use Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base mixed with water (about 1 teaspoon per cup) because it’s delicious, economical, and it lasts longer in the fridge than an open carton of broth. However you can use other options like vegan chicken broth in a carton or vegetable broth.
  • Note 2: I used a half batch my easy tofu based vegan sausage crumbles for this recipe. They are easy to just bake on a tray in the oven which you can even do while the soup cooks. Start them before you start prepping the soup. If you prefer seitan, I also have a seitan-based vegan sausage recipe. Or use store-bought vegan sausage if you prefer (just crumble or dice it up, and brown it in a pan before adding to the soup (add near the end after the kale has wilted).
  • Note 3: This is a very thick sauce made from blending equal parts raw cashews and water. If you do not have a high-powered blender like a Vitamix, you’ll need to soak your cashews in just boiled water for at least 30 minutes to a few hours. Alternatives include sunflower seed cream (same process with raw sunflower seeds but they’re a bit easier on the blender and are more allergy-friendly), canned coconut milk, or a thicker non-dairy milk (like oat) purchased from the refrigerator section. If using this option, I’d start with half a cup and add more if needed. Those thinner refrigerator non-dairy milks may thin the soup because of their high water content.
  • Note 4: I like to sprinkle on my vegan bacon bits because they’re also super easy and cheap to make, gluten-free, and are delicious and easier to access for some folks. Store-bought vegan bacon will also work though, just chop and cook until crisp in a pan.
  • Note 5: I used my new obsession, Violife vegan parmesan cheese and grated it with a microplane because it’s pretty and it tastes JUST LIKE parmesan to me. However, you’re welcome to use whatever you like--I even have an easy to make (literally one minute of shaking up stuff in a jar) vegan parmesan topping if you prefer. And the parmesan is just an optional topping anyway. Skip if you’d like and the soup will still be super flavorful.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American