Simple Tuscan Kale Soup Recipe - Delish Knowledge (2024)

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Looking for a healthy vegan kale soup? Try this Tuscan Kale Soup Recipe made with roasted tomatoes, orzo, kale in a spicy broth. A must make with less than 250 calories a serving.

this Recipe

Do you love soup as much as my family does? This time of year, I make a pot of soup at least once a week. Favorites like my red lentil soup, lemon chickpea noodle soup, slow cooker tomato soup, tortilla soup and potato, spinach and sausage soup. Though this Tuscan Kale Soup is often at the top of that list– my husband asks for it often!

I crave it on chilly, snowy nights and the leftovers always make the perfect lunch. Therefore, this Tuscan kale soup is a medley of some of my favorite winter foods: tender orzo pasta, fire-roasted tomatoes, and kale in a spicy broth.

A hit with both my family and hundreds of readers, this Tuscan Kale Soup is no exception and is guaranteed to be a winner in your house as well.

Everything You Need to Make This Kale Soup:

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Ingredients for Tuscan Kale Soup

I prefer a Tuscan or Latino kale, the one with the flatter, darker leaves, but curly kale will also work.

In addition, you will need:

  • Aromatics like garlic, onion, celery, and carrots
  • Seasonings like oregano, basil, and crushed red pepper flakes
  • Canned fire-roasted tomatoes give this soup so much flavor, but regular canned diced tomatoes work too
  • Good quality vegetable broth
  • Orzo pasta, regular or whole wheat
  • Fresh lemon juice

For a heartier soup, consider adding in white beans such as chickpeas, cannellini beans, great northern beans, or navy beans. To make this soup gluten-free, use a gluten-free orzo pasta such as DeLallo.

If you like rosemary in your soup, then you can add a fresh sprig to the kale soup and then remove before serving.

How to Make Kale Soup

Sauté vegetables first

First, add a thin layer of olive oil or vegetable oil on the bottom of the stock pot or Dutch oven and let it get hot before adding in the onions, celery, and carrots.

Caramelize the Vegetables

Cook the vegetables over medium-low heat until soft and slightly browned. This may take up to 20 minutes, just make sure to stir often so it doesn’t burn.This is where much of the flavor for the soup comes, so don’t rush it.

Add in the fire roasted tomatoes

Next, add in a can of fire-roasted tomatoes. You should be able to find these in the same aisle as regular canned tomatoes. Fire-roasted tomatoes give more depth and flavor to this soup than regular tomatoes, but you can use regular if that’s all you can find. For low-sodium diets, make sure to select no-salt-added tomatoes.

Stir in the broth and pasta

Here is where you will also add the broth, water, and orzo pasta.

Add the kale and lemon juice

Once the pasta is tender, add in the fresh kale until just wilted. Stir in lemon juicebefore serving.


Ladle into bowls, then top with freshly ground black pepper if desired before serving. For an added umami boost, I like to sprinkle on either regular or dairy-free parmesan cheese.

Tips for Perfect Kale Soup

The secret to really good soup is good broth. I often make my own from whatever scraps I have lying around, especially in the age of the Instant Pot.

However, there are some great store-bought options that I rely on often: Pacific Foods,Better than Bouillon Vegetable BaseandOrrington Farms Broth Base.

I know the lemon juice addition sounds odd, but it’s essential to this kale soup recipe. The added acid balances the heat and the salt; it’s my secret weapon in almost every meal. If you like it here, try it in my lemon chickpea soup!

Even if you don’t think you like kale, you might in this recipe! Make sure to remove the tough, woody stems and thinly slice the kale into small ribbons before adding to the soup. This ensures that each bite will be tender.

Slow Cooker Directions

To make this Tuscan kale soup in the crock pot, cook the aromatics as described above until tender. Then add in the rest of the ingredients, except for the lemon juice.

Cook on low for 4-5 hours, until pasta is tender. Stir in the lemon juice right before serving.

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Does it matter what type of Kale I use?

Any type of kale works in this soup, though I’m partial to the darker, flatter leaves of dinosaur kale, also known as Lacinato kale or Tuscan kale. You can also use curly kale or even a purple kale, just make sure you remove the stem and finely chop the leaves.

Is Kale good for you in soup?

Honestly, kale is a nutrient powerhouse– there’s a reason its popularity has skyrocketed over the past decade. It’s delicious both cold, like in salads, and warm as in this Tuscan Kale Soup. Unlike more delicate greens, kale holds its shape after cooking and is perfect in soup.

As a Registered Dietitian, I like that kale is packed with vitamins A, K, C and also contains calcium, potassium, and copper. Like other members of the cruciferous vegetable family, kale consumption is linked to reducing cancer risk, likely due to containing glucosinolates, which have been shown to have anti-carcinogenic properties.

This Tuscan Kale Soup is similar to Olive Garden’s famous zuppa toscana soup, but much healthier! It’s packed with vegetables, it cholesterol free, and tastes just as rich and decadent without all of the bacon and heavy cream in their version.

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Can you freeze kale soup?

To freeze soup, place in freezer-safe containers or bags. If using a bag, remove as much of the air as possible; I usually like to lay the bags flat for easier storage. Let cool completely, then place in the freezer for 2-3 months.

To reheat, warm on the stovetop or in the microwave. As the orzo pasta will absorb more broth as it cools, you may need to add in the additional broth while reheating.

How to store this kale soup

Store any leftovers in an airtight container and then place in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Freeze any leftovers using the directions above.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use Kale?

Even if you don’t think you like kale, I urge you to try this soup. Finely chopping the kale first helps to create a less bitter bite– even my father-in-law who swears he hates kale loves this soup.

Remove the stems, then stack the kale leaves on top of one another. Tightly roll, then thinly slice from the short end creating thin kale ribbons. From here, you can stack and cut in half widthwise or leave as is.

Can I use spinach instead of kale in soup?

Yes, you can use either baby or regular spinach leaves in this Tuscan kale soup. If using mature spinach leaves, then I recommend removing any tough stems and roughly chopping them before adding to the soup.

Can I add in white beans?

For a heartier soup, consider adding in cooked white beans when you add the orzo pasta. White beans contain 8g of protein and 6g of fiber per half cup, making this a healthy variation.
While most creamy beans would work well in this soup, I’d recommend a small white bean, like a cannellini bean, navy bean or great northern bean.

If you do add in white beans, you can also blend some of the beans with the broth and vegetables in a blender before adding the pasta. This gives more heartiness and body to the kale soup without having to add any dairy.

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More Healthy Soup Recipes

If you love this Tuscan Kale Soup recipe, then you’ll love my other soup recipes. I’ve got a collection of more kale soup recipes along with 33+ vegan soup recipes.

  • Sweet Potato Stew
  • Tuscan Lentil Soup
  • Vegan Miso Soup
  • Turmeric Red Lentil Soup

More Kale Recipes

  • Kale Butternut Squash Pasta
  • Ranch Kale Salad
  • Creamy Vegan Gnocchi Soup with Kale
  • Warm Farro and Kale Salad
  • Pumpkin Soup with Kale

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag yourInstagramphotos with #delishknowledge .I absolutelyloveseeing your creations. Happy cooking!


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Tuscan Kale Soup

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: main, dinner, soup, healthy, vegan
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan


Looking for a healthy vegan kale soup? Try this Tuscan Kale Soup Recipe made with roasted tomatoes, orzo, kale in a spicy broth. A must make with less than 250 calories a serving.

Print Recipe

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: main, dinner, soup, healthy, vegan
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: main, dinner, soup, healthy, vegan
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon each: salt, dried oregano, dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like a little more heat)
  • 1 15oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes (or regular if you can’t find fire-roasted)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (I use low-sodium and then adjust for salt)
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup orzo pasta
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  1. Cut kale into ribbons.

  2. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  3. Add the onion, celery, carrots, salt, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.

  4. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, water and orzo and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until orzo is tender, about 12 minutes.

  5. Stir in the kale until wilted, seasoning to taste if needed.

  6. Stir in the lemon juice and serve.


  • Serving Size: 1/4th recipe
  • Calories: 233
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Sodium: 852 mg
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 36 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Cholesterol: 0g

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This recipe was first posted in 2018 and updated in 2023.

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Simple Tuscan Kale Soup Recipe - Delish Knowledge (2024)


What is the best kale for soup? ›

Compared to other kale varieties, Russian kales are on the tenderer, milder, and sweeter side, making them an excellent and delicious green for salads and soups.

When should I add kale to my soup? ›

When should I add kale to my soup? In most cases, we recommend adding kale towards the end, when the soup is almost ready and you are happy with its taste and texture. Kale can be ready in as little as 5 to 30 minutes if you like it buttery tender.

Does kale hold up in soup? ›

From the bumpy leaves of lacinato to the ruffled look of curly kale, all types of kale are excellent for soup. No matter what kale you're using, you will want to make sure it's washed well. Before you chop it up, remove the tough stems from the center of the leaves.

Why is kale soup good for you? ›

Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants help our body by inhibiting chemical processes that lead to the damage of cells. Many studies show that antioxidants, specifically carotenoids and flavonoids, help protect against various cancers.

How do you take the bitterness out of kale soup? ›

For example, tossing in some dried fruit helps balance the bitter with some sweet. If you eat meat, you can try adding in some sausage or bacon, perhaps to a soup or stew, to cut the bitterness. Minced garlic, olive oil, and salt are also simple ingredients that can transform the flavor of a bitter kale dish.

Can you overcook kale in soup? ›

Yes, kale can become overcooked if left in the soup for too long. It is best to add kale towards the end of the cooking time to prevent it from becoming too wilted or losing its vibrant green color. Aim for a tender yet slightly crisp texture, as overcooked kale can turn mushy and affect the overall taste of your soup.

Should I massage kale before adding to soup? ›

Massage Your Kale Leaves

Kale will benefit from some gentle kneading to soften its texture. A bit of oil can help to break down the fibrous membranes as well. Here's how: Wash the kale and remove the leaves from the stems. Tear the leaves into smaller pieces and rub them in your hands with olive oil and salt.

Which is better in soup kale or spinach? ›

On the other hand, kale crushes spinach when it comes to vitamins K and C, plus it's also lower in calories and richer in heart-healthy flavonoids. These flavonoids are packed with anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. “Truly, you can't go wrong with either choice,” she says.

Can you eat kale stems in soup? ›

Making vegetable soup? Chop up those kale stems and add them into the mix. Whether you are keeping it chunky, minestrone-style, or making a creamy purée, this vegetable will add a nice, earthy flavor.

How do you add richness to soup? ›

"If your broth is lacking in savory richness, try adding roasted onion, tomato paste, mushrooms, seaweed, soy sauce, or miso. These ingredients add umami flavor and depth to broth," she says.

How do you clean kale for soup? ›

Fill a large bowl with cold water. Submerge the kale leaves in the water, swishing them around to loosen any dirt or debris. Gently rub the leaves with your fingers to remove any stubborn dirt. Remove the kale from the water and rinse it under running water to ensure all dirt is removed.

What organ is kale good for? ›

Kale is a nutritious food rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, and beta-carotene. It also contains nutrients that can support eye health, weight management, heart health, and more. Loaded with important micronutrients and antioxidants, kale is one of the most nutritious leafy greens available.

Why can't you eat kale everyday? ›

Plus, eating too much fiber (like what you find in kale) could wreck havoc on your GI system, causing bloating, diarrhea, gas, constipation, and even improper absorption of nutrients. Of course, you'd have to be eating a lot of kale to suffer these effects, says Manganiello, but it's still something to keep in mind.

What happens to your body when you eat kale everyday? ›

Being a good source of calcium and Vitamin K, kale may help in boosting bone health. Consumption of kale may help in detoxifying the body. It may help in managing malnutrition problems. Being a good source of iron and Vitamin C, it may help in boosting immunity.

What type of kale is best for cooking? ›

Tuscan Kale aka Lacinato Kale aka Dinosaur Kale

This is the kale we love to cook—and not cook—the most. It has a deeper color and is slightly thinner and more tender than curly kale, making it more versatile—it cooks more quickly and requires less massaging for use in raw preparations.

What kale has the best flavor? ›

The best tasting variety is a matter of preference, however 'Black Magic' takes the cake for the mildest flavor and enjoyable texture in sautees. For raw eating, opt for a 'Siberian' or baby kale blend. For chips, nothing beats 'Blue Curled Scotch'.

Which kale is heat tolerant? ›

When temperatures get above 80°F kale begins to become woody and bitter (Lacinato is more heat tolerant than other varieties).


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