Have you ever had the Zuppa Toscana from the Olive Garden? It’s pretty fantastic, isn’t it? Well I have a vegan version of the Zuppa Toscana, made with vegan sausage and coconut milk.
This vegan zuppa Toscana recipe might just become your favorite new comfort food soup this winter!
This soup is ready in under 25 minutes, meaning you can have a belly-warming, soul-warming soup any night of the week, even busy weeknights!
And by the way – even if you’re not vegan, you can just follow the same recipe below and uses Italian sausage instead of vegan sausage. This soup will turn out perfect both ways – trust me!
Chunky hearty soups – the ultimate comfort food
I absolutely love really chunky soups filled with lots of hearty ingredients. They are the ultimate comfort food for me, especially when served with a nice chunk of bread or a fresh dinner roll.
This soup has potatoes and vegan sausage to give it that really nice savory, satisfying flavor. The broth for this soup is made of canned coconut milk and vegetable stock, giving it a rich, tasty flavor and mouthfeel.
What kind of coconut milk to use
I use canned lite coconut milk for most of my vegan soup recipes. I find its flavor so tasty and rich, and the soup doesn’t taste like coconut in the end. I find lite coconut to be a good balance because it’s not as fatty as full fat coconut milk, which is SO rich and high in calories.
If you want to lighten this soup up a little bit, use any unsweetened plant-based milk alternative – coconut milk in a carton, almond milk, or soy milk.
Vegan sausage crumbles
You can use any vegan sausage crumbles for this soup. I used Pure Farmland sausage crumbles. I really like cooking with it because it doesn’t fall apart too much while cooking and you end up with really hearty, nicely browned sausage chunks. They give the soup lots of flavor.
I cook the sausage in the soup pot first, along with the diced onion and garlic, then remove the sausage from the pot and add the potatoes and vegetable stock. This releases the browned sausage bits that are stuck at the bottom and gets all that wonderful sausage and onion flavor into the soup.
Basic zuppa toscana
This zuppa toscana uses just the basic ingredients for a hearty soup: vegan sausage, potatoes, garlic and onion for flavor, spinach, and a tasty coconut milk and vegetable stock broth.
However, you can add or swap a lot of ingredients if you want to make a heartier, healthier soup, or simple want to switch things up.
Other additions and swaps:
You can switch things up by doing one of the suggestions below, or all of these! You might need to add another 1/2 cup to 1 cup of vegetable stock (or coconut milk) to the soup if you’re adding all of these extra solid ingredients, otherwise you’ll have a very thick soup (which might not be a bad thing!).
- White beans. You can add 1-1.5 cups of cooked white beans (1 14-oz can, drained) to the final step of the soup recipe, when you’re adding the spinach. This adds a nice boost of fiber to this soup.
- Carrots. You can add ~1-1.5 cups chopped carrots at the same time that you’re adding the diced potatoes – let the carrots cook through with the potatoes. This adds a nice boost of veggies to the soup.
- Celery. Add some thinly sliced celery while you are browning the vegan sausage and onions. This also adds a nice boost of vegetable to the soup, and bulks up the soup – meaning you end up with bigger servings with more veggies (not a bad thing!), or more servings (also not a bad thing!).
- Swap kale for spinach. If you prefer kale because it has more of a bite, you can swap the same amount of kale leaves torn into 1-2 inch pieces. Add the kale about 3 minutes after the potatoes, to give it time to soften and cook down.
- Splash of white wine. Add a splash of dry white wine after you remove the cooked sausage from the pan – this will deglaze the pan and add more flavor to the soup. Then continue with adding the vegetable broth and potatoes and cooking the rest of the soup.
Whatever you decide to add to this soup, I hope you love it! If you end up making it, please take a picture and tag me on Instagram or Facebook. You can find me at @babaganoshblog on both. I love seeing your creations!
Looking for other amazingly delicious soup recipes?
- Creamy carrot soup with pesto pistou – vegan!
- White bean and kale soup with root vegetables – vegan!
- Sweet potato and leek soup – vegan!
- Sweet potato, black bean, chicken soup
- Sweet potato peanut soup – vegan!
- Lentil butternut squash soup – vegan!
- Mushroom soup with noodles, ginger, and lemongrass – vegan!
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don’t forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!
Vegan Sausage Zuppa Toscana
- 1 lb vegan sausage (sausage crumbles, or sausage removed from casing)
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 cups vegetable stock (or one 14-oz can)
- ¾ lb potatoes (about 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into ½ inch pieces)
- 2 cups lite coconut milk (or 1 14-oz can, see notes for lighter option)
- 4 cups baby spinach (or 3 cups kale leaves, see notes)
- ¼ cup basil leaves (or other fresh herbs, such as parsley leaves)
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare all the vegetables: Dice the onion, peel and dice the potatoes into ~½ inch pieces, mince the garlic, wash the spinach (or kale) and basil. (Time-saving tip: dice the potatoes while the sausage is cooking)
- In a 4-5 quart soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the vegan sausage crumbles, diced onion, and minced garlic. Cook over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes, using a spatula to crumble the sausage. The vegan sausage will release liquid - continue to cook until the liquid evaporates and the sausage browns, stirring frequently. Stir in the dried oregano, then remove the cooked crumbled sausage mixture to a plate and set aside.
- Add the vegetable broth and diced potatoes to the pot. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Add the coconut milk, spinach (or kale, see notes), basil, red pepper flakes, and the cooked sausage. Season with salt and ground black pepper, if desired. Bring to a boil, make sure to wilt the spinach, then remove from heat. Serve hot.
- This soup is great with spinach OR kale. The kale has more of a chewy bite. If using kale, clean the kale leaves and tear them into small pieces. Add the kale about 3 minutes after adding the potatoes, to give it down to soften and cook down.
- Coconut milk from a can gives this soup a rich flavor. Use canned lite coconut milk for less calories, or use unsweetened coconut milk from a carton or unsweetened almond milk for even fewer calories.
- Try these other additions, too!
- White beans. You can add 1-1.5 cups of cooked white beans (one 14-oz can, drained) to the final step of the soup recipe, when you're adding the spinach. This adds a nice boost of fiber to this soup.
- Carrots. You can add ~1-1.5 cups chopped carrots at the same time that you're adding the diced potatoes - let the carrots cook through with the potatoes.
- Celery. Add some thinly sliced celery while you are browning the vegan sausage and onions.
- Splash of white wine. Add a splash of dry white wine after you remove the cooked sausage from the pan - this will deglaze the pan and add more flavor to the soup. Then continue with adding the vegetable broth and potatoes and cooking the rest of the soup.