Zuppa Vegana: Italian Potato, Bean, and Kale Soup

by on February 8, 2014
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Zuppa Vegana: Italian Potato, Bean, and Kale Soup

It’s been a big week here in the FatFree Vegan household. First of all, last Saturday we got a new family member! If you’re a Facebook follower or NewsBites reader, you’ve already been subjected to the cuteness that is our still unnamed kitten. But in case you’ve missed one of my press releases, here’s the story:

On Friday, CARA, the no-kill animal shelter where my daughter volunteers, posted a photo on Facebook of a kitten that was the spitting image of our Leda, who died of cancer 5 years ago. When I read that this kitten had been rescued from an abusive situation, I just knew we should take him in–despite the fact that we already have 4 cats and a blind dog. I filled out an adoption application, not really thinking that I had a chance because a lot of people on Facebook were interested.

Downton Tabby

Honestly, I had practically forgotten about the application (which I had filled out without my husband’s knowledge) until the next morning when I got a call from CARA saying that we had been approved. Having a daughter who is a hard-working volunteer makes all the difference! I said we needed to meet the kitten first (I actually needed a little time to work on the husband), so we arranged to come in to the shelter that afternoon.

My daughter E accompanied me, and it was love at first sight. 7-week-old “Downton,” as the shelter called him, was playful and friendly, despite his traumatic experiences. I learned that he had wandered up to a man’s door, starving and dehydrated, and the man had picked him up and thrown him across his yard. Fortunately, some neighborhood kids saw it happen and took him to a neighbor who loves cats. She called CARA, and they got him to a vet. He was in such bad shape that he wasn’t expected to live through the night. But the vet put him on an IV, and he slowly began to recover. It took two weeks before he was eating on his own and ready to be adopted. I am so thankful to CARA and the vet for saving this precious life!

“Downton” has settled in and is slowly winning over the other cats. The three of us can’t agree on a name, however, so right now he’s known as The Kitten. I’m sure that will change, but it’s hard getting 3 people with different ideas about the naming of cats to agree.

The second happy happening this week was that Jackson, Mississippi, finally got a Whole Foods Market. I’ll admit that I was a little conflicted about this. I love our local natural food store, Rainbow Grocery, and hope that the competition won’t be too much for it. The new Whole Foods was packed with people all week, and since it’s one of their smaller stores, it was difficult to really shop. I went in the second day they were open and couldn’t get to everything I wanted to. I spied these tiny potatoes across the produce department, but there were so many people crowded around them that I couldn’t get close:

Tiny potatoes, about the diameter of a nickle

I meant to go back for them but forgot. When I got home, I kept imagining how good they would be in a sort of healthed-up, veganized version of the Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana I’d seen on lots of blogs. So I braved the crowds at Whole Foods again the next day, bought two bags of tiny potatoes, and signed over my paycheck for the second time in one week. I guess I wasn’t as conflicted as I thought!

Anyway, I’ve never been to Olive Garden and never had their soup, which seems to contain sausage, bacon, and heavy cream–a heart attack in a bowl. So I doubt this really compares, but to me, it was incredibly delicious for something so simple. I had it for both lunch and supper yesterday, and I’m one of those people who hates to eat the same meal twice in a row. Fennel seeds, herbs, and red pepper flakes give it a sausage-like flavor without all the fat and cholesterol. My tiny potatoes, many about the diameter of a nickle, I threw into the pot whole, but bite-sized chunks of any kind of potatoes will do. Half of a 12-ounce bag of pre-sliced kale (another Whole Foods purchase) cooked down enough to make this a moderately brothy soup (which is what I was craving), but feel free to increase the amount of kale and add extra seasonings, too.

Zuppa Vegana: Italian Potato, Bean, and Kale Soup

Zuppa Vegana
5 from 1 vote

Zuppa Vegana: Italian Potato, Bean, and Kale Soup

Blending in some non-dairy milk and nutritional yeast at the end adds a slight creaminess and “cheesy” flavor, but it’s not essential because this simple soup is naturally flavorful without it.
Course Main Course, Soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 207 kcal
Author Susan Voisin


  • 2 cups chopped onion (1 large onion)
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 cups vegetable broth– OR water plus 6 bouillon cubes or equivalent see note
  • 1 pound small potatoes cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 cups cooked pinto, borlotti, or other beans drained, or 2 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 6- inch piece fresh rosemary (or 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 6-10 ounces chopped kale (about 8-12 cups) stems removed
  • 1/2 cup plain unsweetened non-dairy milk OPTIONAL
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast OPTIONAL
  • additional seasonings to taste


  1. Heat a large, non-stick soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions and a tablespoon or so of water and “steam fry” until the onions soften, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Add the broth, potatoes, beans, and herbs (oregano through pepper flakes). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the kale, cover, and cook 5 – 10 minutes, until kale is tender but still bright green.
  4. OPTIONAL: For a creamier broth, remove about 1/2 cup of the potatoes and a little of the soup broth. Place them in the blender along with the non-dairy milk and nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth. Add blender contents to soup and stir well.
  5. Check seasonings, adding salt, pepper, and additional herbs to taste. Cook for a few minutes to heat through. Remove the rosemary stem before serving.

Recipe Notes

Much of the flavor of the soup depends on the broth that you use, so use one that you like. Be aware that broth and bouillon can be very high in sodium. Most of the sodium in this recipe comes from the broth and the beans. In analyzing the nutrition, I used 6 teaspoons of Better Than Bouillon No Chicken, which is fairly high in sodium, and pinto beans cooked without salt. The broth accounts for 680 mg of the sodium listed.

Without milk and nutritional yeast: 193 calories and less than 1g total fat.

Nutrition Facts
Zuppa Vegana: Italian Potato, Bean, and Kale Soup
Amount Per Serving (0g)
Calories 207 Calories from Fat 12
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1.3g 2%
Sodium 703.3mg 29%
Total Carbohydrates 39.9g 13%
Dietary Fiber 8.5g 34%
Sugars 2.6g
Protein 11.1g 22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.




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{ 96 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Darcy Falk February 8, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Love reading these recipes, but alas, I am sensitive to onions and garlic (all allium plants), and so many of your delicious-sounding concoctions are impossible for me to eat. Up to now, I’ve mostly gotten around this problem by simply leaving out the offending foods in many of my favorite recipes, and bumping up the other flavors to compensate. Any other suggestions for how I can amend recipes, given my circumstances?


2 Susan Voisin February 8, 2014 at 3:26 pm

That is such a difficult question because as you can tell, I rely on onions and garlic to build flavor. Increasing the spices is a good idea. Have you ever used the Indian spice asafetida? It has a garlic taste but isn’t related at all to onions and garlic. A little goes a long way and could be used to add a little flavor. Sautéing celery instead of onion is another possible replacement. Good luck!


3 Darcy Falk February 8, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Thanks, Susan. I hadn’t heard of asafetida, but I’ll look for it.


4 Susan Voisin February 8, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Be warned: It stinks! In fact, the name includes “fetid” because of the aroma. But the smell cooks out and you only need a tiny bit to add flavor. You can find it in Indian grocery stores for a reasonable price.


5 Darcy Falk February 8, 2014 at 3:52 pm

I had a sneaking suspicion, but thanks for the warning!

6 Tom February 8, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Oh my God! your cat is adorable. Wait… BEYOND adorable!!!! And I love the back story and your VULNERABILITY in sharing that your husband didn’t immediately know you put the application in for the cat. So sweet. Really puts a lovely human compassionate touch to FFV!!!! You’re just the best. Thanks Susan!!! You saved a very beautiful little kittens life!!! Much care and appreciation to and for you!


7 Susan Voisin February 8, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Thanks, Tom! I feel so lucky to have found little Nameless. Hopefully his name will reveal itself to us before too much longer.


8 Tom February 8, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Oh my God!.. I want to send CARA a donation. Can you post their address to do so!! Honestly. Let’s take the healing of this blog out into the world!!!! What do you think everyone? Even a $10/$20 donation to CARA? Who’s in?


9 Susan Voisin February 8, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Tom, thank you so much for wanting to donate to CARA! I can tell you first-hand that they do wonderful work. You can donate online at this link: https://www.carams.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=1 . And here is their address where you can send a check:

960 N. Flag Chapel Rd.
Jackson, MS 39209


10 Tom February 8, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Donation Complete!!! Made in the name of “Downton” so they will know who its in name of… though we know he is really “Nameless” at the moment 🙂


11 Susan Voisin February 9, 2014 at 7:02 am

Thank you so much, Tom! I know they can use the money, and I appreciate your honoring Downton like that. You’re the best!


12 Jackie @ Vegan Yack Attack! February 8, 2014 at 1:57 pm

The kitten is SO adorable! I can’t believe someone would be so mean to him. 🙁 But, I am glad that he is in great hands, now. And, of course, the soup looks amazing!


13 Susan Voisin February 8, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Thanks, Jackie! I can’t imagine how people can be so cruel to animals, but I’m glad that there are people out there fighting for them, like CARA.


14 sarah February 8, 2014 at 2:10 pm

How about “TK” for a name? Short for “The Kitten” 🙂


15 Susan Voisin February 8, 2014 at 3:31 pm

That’s an idea, Sarah. If we don’t think of a proper name soon, we might wind up doing something like that.


16 moonwatcher February 8, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Hi Susan,

Wow, I hadn’t realized what a gripping backstory “The Kitten” had–thanks so much for sharing it with us, and especially for taking him in–he is sure to have a wonderful healing home with the 3 of you, even if you haven’t yet agreed on a name. And he’s just absolutely adorable!

This soups looks and sounds fantastic!! My kind of soup. 🙂 Reminiscent of a kale and potato soup in The Greens cookbook I’ve made many times–but I like the hearty addition of beans and fennel.

I’m not sure whether to say congratulations or my condolences about Whole Foods. I know it’s handy, I see that when I go to Portland, along with Trader Joe’s. But I hope co-ops like yours and ours can still go strong too!




17 Susan Voisin February 8, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Thanks, Maria. It’s hard to believe that someone could treat The Kitten that way. He came home from the shelter with antibiotics that he needs to take daily. A few days ago, I happened to look at the prescription label. It said “Account: CARA – Patient: Thrown kitten.” That just about broke my heart.


18 Kimberton February 8, 2014 at 2:44 pm

The kitten is so cute he makes my heart hurt! I’d call him Loki. Thank you for opening your heart and your home to him. The soup is beyond awesome. I love your recipes. Thank you for sharing them and your new cutie pie.
I love Tom’s idea about sharing the healing by making a donation to CARA. Please post their donation info. I’m in for a donation for sure!


19 Susan Voisin February 8, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Thank you so much, Kimberton! I’ve posted the donation info under Tom’s comment. I know that CARA would put your donation to good use.


20 Susan Voisin February 13, 2014 at 8:11 am

Kimberton, I just wanted you to know that we finally decided on a name, and it is Loki. Thank you for the suggestion!


21 Sandy February 8, 2014 at 3:13 pm

This soup is delicious! I used 1 T of nutritional yeast just stirred in. Did not do the milk and did not blend. It was still frothy and very good as is. A perfect way to use kale. Quick, easy and delicious!!


22 Susan Voisin February 8, 2014 at 3:37 pm

I’m so glad you liked it, Sandy! Thanks for trying it and reporting back so quickly.


23 samantha February 8, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Congratulations on the new kitten. My heart just melted. I just hope someone told the neighbor kid that did the rescue just how amazing he/she was. Happy ending for a fragile little soul. Sam


24 Toni February 8, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Have never tried Olive Gardens Zoupa Toscana??!? Well, I hope this measures up! Can’t wait to try it!


25 Kelly February 8, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Your kitten is so cute! Looks like a Siamese mix too! My last cat I adopted was one that was thrown from a moving vehicle! Hard to believe anyone would do that! I sing to her “you being to me, I being to you, youre my sweetheart ” she seeems to like it, lol.


26 Kelly February 8, 2014 at 5:48 pm



27 MG February 8, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Tom’s idea is great! I just donated too, made in the name of “Downton and Susan V” because you’re both beyond awesome. By the way, it looks like the only way to donate is if you have a US billing address…I live outside the US (as, I bet, do many of your readers) but have a small amount of money squirrelled away in a US account, and keep a US billing address. But let’s keep Tom’s great idea going.


28 Susan Voisin February 8, 2014 at 7:13 pm

MG, you are just awesome! Thank you so much for your generosity! And that’s a handy tip for those who live outside the US.


29 Werner February 8, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Completely choked up when I read this kitten story. Six years ago I adopted a dog with a similar story from a rescue org, and he has rewarded me with complete love and loyalty beyond belief! I mailed a check to CARA today in your honor. Thanks for all you do – food AND fauna 🙂


30 Susan Voisin February 8, 2014 at 10:57 pm

Werner, thank you so much, both for adopting your dog and for your generous donation!


31 The Peace Patch February 8, 2014 at 8:31 pm

ohsuperdupercuteness! I saw that furry little face and immediately thought “WC Feline”, short for White Chocolate, cuz he looks so yummably sweet! Hurray for you and CARA for the rescue!
And thanks for the soup recipe and the blender suggestion…thick hearty soups are an everyday thing right now. Cheers!


32 Dina February 8, 2014 at 10:23 pm

… Hi Susan … your kitten is unbelievably cute … if you haven’t named him yet … may i add a suggestion to your list of names … what do you think of Billa … you press on the ” lla ” in Billa … the same way you press on ” zza ” in pizza … it means ” tomcat ” in Hindi … every day i Thank God for those marvelous human beings on this planet … who fight to preserve the lives of His creatures … human … animal & earth … thank you for you Susan … i’ve started mission zuppa vegana … will let you know soonest how fantastic it was … i still can’t get over that cute adorable stunner kitten … God Bless you & your family Susan … love & peace … till later … 🙂


33 Linda February 8, 2014 at 11:01 pm

Glad you have the new kitty who needed your family. So sad what so many precious critters have to experience in this world. So happy for the kitty. He is so beautiful. I want to give him some snuggles!!


34 Sarah February 9, 2014 at 7:53 am

Thank you so much for adopting this beautiful baby! I’m sitting here crying! It’s so hard to believe someone could be so cruel to a helpless baby animal. I’ve been in the same position. My baby boy Chippy (cat) showed up at our door with a broken leg. His mommy had left him behind. We took him in and 2 years later we can not imagine our life without him. My husband and I have chosen not to have human children so, our orange baby boy is our child. Also, thank your daughter for us. Volunteering is a wonderful experience and so needed. Lastly, thank you for the vegan recipes! I can’t wait to make this soup in e few days!


35 Ouiser February 9, 2014 at 8:09 am

Beautiful creature!! How about Anton or Leo (I’m reading the Russians … our newest (# 13.) we named Pushkin) or Mr. BlueEyes (he has blue eyes, right??).
As for the soup – with some slight variations, it turned out delicious – I’m waiting for my husband to come home to share it with him. Thank you and enjoy the new member of the family!!


36 Ruth February 9, 2014 at 10:06 am

Susan you are absolutely the best, and the world (and my tummy) is a better place because of you!!!


37 Susan Voisin February 9, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Aw, thank you, Ruth! That means so much to me!


38 Rebecca February 9, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Donation made in honor of ‘Downton’ – can’t wait to discover his real name 🙂 Oh, and I’m totally making this soup next weekend. XO


39 Christine (The Raw Project) February 9, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Such a great story about the kitten, so glad he has a great home now! And this looks wonderful, I’m a huge fan on potato soups. Thanks!


40 Ruth February 9, 2014 at 9:20 pm

Sounds wonderful! Now I know what to do with my little red potatoes and bok choy.


41 laurie February 9, 2014 at 9:38 pm

I knew I liked your recipes but the story of the kitty made me realize that I would like you! What a different life he will have because of you. Our most recent addition to our family, a black and white kitty, came about when my husband went to do an a/c job and realized that “kitty” was going to be abandoned because the person feeding kitty was moving. Kitty was living outside, and was declawed! He is such a sweet cat who now lives inside: we love him. Your recipes are sooo good; I’m going to make this one tomorrow. Thanks!


42 Susan @ Best Food Processor February 9, 2014 at 10:52 pm

I want to try this one, it looks really easy. I make vegetable soup for every holiday so I’m always looking for delicious new recipes to use.


43 Nancy February 10, 2014 at 5:28 am

Oh, God, your little kitten… sooo precious. The SAME IDENTICAL thing happened to us. This little starving (razor-thin) kitten walked from under the car up to the front door to my partner asking for help. She had been born in the wild in Ireland, so she was really frightened but when he fed her, she allowed him to pet her. We were told that because she was born in the wild, she could never be tamed. But, alas, she now sleeps with us and is soooo loving and grateful!

We took her for spaying and they found that she was pregnant (at about 4-5 months of age!)… bless her little heart. They said she and her babies would not have survived, so I’m grateful that we went through with the surgery. She is running around the house playing with our other stray and as happy as she can be. We have named her Bailey.


44 Christy February 10, 2014 at 8:32 am

I would name him Tolstoy – Leo Tolstoy was an orphan and a vegetarian 🙂


45 Christy February 10, 2014 at 8:37 am

Or Harley – just because that’s a cool name 🙂


46 Tricia February 10, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Your kitten story reminded me of my aunt, who years ago found a flea-covered, half starved kitten by the side of the highway during a road trip. She named him Roadie, sort of a cute name that acknowledged his nearly disastrous beginnings, but he lived a long and happy life with my aunt and uncle. Maybe you could devise a similarly cute name for The Kitten based on how he was rescued?

The soup also looks delicious, I will make it in the next couple of weeks but had to comment on The Kitten before he gets a name!


47 Jen February 10, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Made this tonight in my pressure cooker and it was really great! I put all ingredients in except kale and pressure cooked for 7 minutes. Did quick release and added the Kale, milk, and nutritional yeast. It was perfect!


48 Karen Zielke February 10, 2014 at 8:46 pm

I couldn’t help but make this recipe today. I just happened to have all the ingredients on hand and my husband was coming down with a cold. That being said, it contained many firsts for me. I had never used pinto beans in a soup. I had never used fennel in a soup. I have been growing kale in my tower garden for over a year and had never put it in a soup. Everything worked! The soup gets 4 thumbs up from our household. My non-vegan, overweight son had to “cut himself off” after 3 bowls. This mom is cheering! Thanks so much Susan!


49 Tracy February 11, 2014 at 10:10 pm

Love this recipe! I am usually a person who uses recipes as a suggestion and then I make it my own. Mostly followed this recipe and it is really good. Hubby can’t get enough of it. Thanks


50 Angie February 12, 2014 at 11:26 am

I came for the kitten story, and stayed for the recipe (though the kitten is a cutie too). I was just telling a friend I was going to look for a vegan version of this Olive Garden soup, and there it appeared! I followed all the directions (I had to omit Fennel, none in my kitchen) – and it turned out WONDERFUL! Even BETTER than the original with none of the guilt. I did cook it a bit longer (I like my greens that way) – and am looking forward to a few more bowls. Thanks so much for yet another great recipe!


51 Tami@NutmegNotebook February 12, 2014 at 4:32 pm

I never tire of having soup! This looks wonderful.


52 Shelley February 13, 2014 at 6:38 pm

I made this tonight and it was SO good! We are snowed it, so it was perfect for the weather. Next time I will try the creamy blending method. Also your cat is adorable! Thank you for adopting such a sweet cat that needs a loving home 🙂


53 OR Suz February 14, 2014 at 1:39 pm

I don’t know how I came to find you, but I’m glad for it.
A vegetarian since the mid 80’s, is my ongoing goal to move towards a vegan lifestyle, and I continue to have marked success.
Commenting to add I make my own veggie broth and will never again purchase any over-processed, sodium-laden product.
Quite simply, I save all veggie bits in the freezer until I have enough to boil down to where they lose their color and form.
Strain it and voila! Cheap, easy, (mostly) organic and additive free.
Thanks for your blog.


54 Florie February 14, 2014 at 4:02 pm

DELICIOUS!!! And totally reminiscent of that Olive Garden soup as I remember it from years ago before I went vegan. Susan, you continue to make plant-based eating a pleasure! Thank you!!!


55 Pitu February 14, 2014 at 4:15 pm

I have been reading this blog for YEARS and so many of the recipes are my staples. Thank you for the amazing recipes you post and your kindness to the animals. Thanks Tom, for a great suggestion. I just made a donation to CARA in my (late) dog’s name as well as in Downton’s name. Lastly, I wish everyone who reads this blog a VERY Happy Valentine’s Day. If you are in the mood for cheesiness, click the link below to see a video I made 🙂



56 Susan Voisin February 14, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Thank you for your generosity! And for the adorable video! I loved it.


57 Dina February 15, 2014 at 5:41 pm

… Hi Pitu … saw your video … it’s not cheezee … it’s lovely … i loved it … thank you for sharing it & thank you for the love in your heart … God Bless you … your loved ones & the whole world … love & peace to all … God Bless …


58 Steven Harris February 18, 2014 at 2:11 pm

After looking at this recipe for weeks, I finally gave it a shot. I followed the directions exactly, except for the nutritional yeast. Being a big fan of nutritional yeast, I put in closer to a 1/4 cup of it. The resulting soup was very creamy, “cheesy”, and outright delicious!

I’ve never had the OG version of this dish, but your recipe was definitely one of the tastiest soups I’ve ever made. Thank you for this recipe!


59 Marcy from Florida February 22, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Susan I love your recipes and have a few favorites. However, the reason I’m commenting for the first time is that your kitten and mine have a strikingly similar physical likeness and sad backstory. I found my kitten on my windowsill three nights in a row and borrowed a catch cage from our local rescue group. After releasing him on my porch, he jumped on my lap. He was weak, emaciated and boney. I fed him and took him to the recommended vet, who cleared him as just needing to be nurtured. They estimated he was 12 weeks old and said he weighed only 3 pounds. We were just going to be foster parents until he could be adopted.

Within a week we knew something wasn’t right with his breathing. I took him to our regular vet (we have 2 dogs) who took x-rays and showed us that the poor little guy had a herniated diaphragm from some traumatic event; his intestines were wrapped around his lungs, restricting his breathing. Although, we had no intention of keeping a cat (not cat people), we were given two choices: surgery or death. I called my husband from the vet and we agreed we were going to be keeping this little guy and paid a couple thousand for the required surgery, and knew he needed much personal care.

He pulled through the surgery and now nearly five months later he is a healthy, happy loving member of our family. It turns out that we are cat people after all.


60 Susan Voisin February 22, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Marcy, your story brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing it and for saving the life of your kitten. I’m so glad you turned out to be cat people after all. Isn’t it wonderful?!


61 loppitz February 24, 2014 at 9:43 am

Tried this last night and it was divine! The fennel seeds gave it such a great flavor. I served it to guests and it was a hit! It looked just like the photo and was a beautiful hearty meal for us. I love all your recipes. I will be making this again.


62 Usha February 24, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Thanks for this recipe, Susan! The nice thing about your mails is that the visual often pops into my head and helps with directing choices at the store. For instance, I was in Trader Joe’s in Long Island last weekend (unusual because it was not in my neighborhood), and spied these super cute tiny potatoes, but would likely have passed by if your soup photo hadn’t flashed across my mind. I grabbed them up to be assessed later at home, and only looked at the accompanying recipe at leisure today…and presto, I had everything (beans, tiny potatoes, kale and boullion). Followed recipe exactly and there was a happy Monday lunch for all, and afterschool snack for my teenage daughter on a day the mercury took another dive! You have an auspicious touch with your postings! Same with the chopped salad…inspired by your E’s reaction, I threw it together in lieu of the usual ETL salad my husband does, and it disappeared into my M’s mouth…thanks, friend!

Btw, re: Whole Foods…I found this interesting article on Whole Foods vs Walmart (admittedly 2 ends of the supermarket spectrum) http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/02/21/why-half-of-wal-marts-groceries-are-banned-by-whol.aspx


63 Alison Phillips March 12, 2014 at 8:45 am

Yum that looks good! This is going to be so good this coming winter!


64 Esther J March 27, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Oh, this is a very tasty soup!

I made it with a pound of peeled and diced russetts and about 6 oz of frozen spinach (both what I had on hand). I also bumped up the fennel seeds and basil (another 1/4 t each), and for the creaminess, I blended the potatoes, almond milk, and nutritional yeast (2 T instead of 1), but I also added a 1/4 cup of soaked cashews to that. I know, the fat, quelle horreur (for some), but so good.

Thanks for another one, Susan, and I hope you’re recuperation is coming along.

Be well. 🙂


65 Patricia March 31, 2014 at 10:47 am

Another amazing soup! This time my meat-loving husband said he wouldn’t mind this soup once a week – SHOCKER!

Personally, I’ve been on a soup kick for a couple of weeks now and am ready to try some of your non-soup recipies!

So happy to have found guidance in my new vegan journey.



66 Kayla K. Pins April 7, 2014 at 7:48 pm

As an Olive Garden employee for four years in college, I can testify that this soup is spot on, minus heart attack! I’ve tried to recreate it, but it’s the fennel seed that pulls it all together. This will be a new favorite in my house. Thank you!


67 pat April 28, 2014 at 12:12 am

I just want to share my experience with this soup. I’ve tried many of your recipes and this one is by far my most fave. I would have never thought to use fennel and it adds such a wonderful flavor! And to make the soup even faster, I put the kale in the cuisinart so I don’t have to chop it. It comes out in rather small pieces but it is still very tasty. Some day when I have more time, I’ll chop it like you have it featured in your lovely pix. I found some cannellini beans for cheap one day so I threw those in. Yummy! Highly recommended recipe. Easy and delicious. Thanks!!


68 Maria April 28, 2014 at 12:58 am

I love looking at Loki’s picture almost as much as I love your soup.
I have made it several times with all kinds of potatoes, and all kinds of greens. It is an easy winner! And now we have Spring onions to go in it! Happiness in a bowl, even for my fussy 14 year old. Thank you for all your help with MY life, Susan. Many good wishes your way.


69 Chrissy May 18, 2014 at 7:57 pm

I’ve been Pescatarian for about 8 years, but recently made the decision to become vegan. Your blog is an absolute inspiration! I’ve been using a lot of your recipes in the past weeks, and I have to say that you’ve nailed it when it comes to low fat, flavorful dishes.


70 sunshinebuster June 25, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Made this tonight. Delicious. It does taste as or better than Olive Garden’s soup. It was my favorite soup there. I didn’t have Kale in the house so I use collard green. Couldn’t figure out how to add this to my recipes so I saved it to my phone.


71 nancy September 16, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Do you have a recipe in your archives that uses the spice “Old Bay”…..i know it’s for seafood but i just love the taste of it. thanks, nancy


72 Susan Voisin September 16, 2014 at 4:25 pm

Yes, I have several that use Old Bay to give a seafood-like flavor. Check out the first 3 or 4 at this link.


73 Layne Madrid September 16, 2014 at 6:11 pm

This recipe is amazing! I’ve been using your sites for a few years now and oddly our vegetarian family now lives in Mississippi too. Nice to know we are not alone!


74 Mary October 10, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Thanks for posting this recipe. I made this tonight and my husband said it was one of the best soups that I had ever made. That’s a winner! I did add a teaspoon of miso when I was sautéing the onions and garlic. I like the richness that miso adds. I also used organic Better than Bouillon vegetable in the same ration that you added. Great recipe!


75 Michele October 28, 2014 at 6:48 am

Susan, I made this soup last night, gobbled up two bowls and woke up this morning thinking about it! Seriously the best soup I’ve ever had, hands down! I made it as is for myself, but will probably add some sauteed Tofurky Italian sausage for my omnivore hubby next time.

Thanks so much for all that you do, your site is my go-to for healthy recipes!


76 Chery November 10, 2014 at 3:20 pm

With all the kale, will this soup freeze ok? It’s super delicious but it yields A LOT…

I didn’t have fennel seeds at hand, but since I made my own stock with the green top of fennel (anise), it still came out great.


77 Susan Voisin November 10, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Glad you liked it! It should freeze fine. The texture of the kale may change a tiny bit, but since it’s already cooked, it won’t make a big difference.


78 Sara November 12, 2014 at 10:40 pm

Hi Susan, I’ve made this soup before and I love it, but I’m wondering if you have any suggestions for making it in the crock pot? Thanks!


79 Sue November 30, 2014 at 1:17 pm

This is one of my favorite soups. The aroma and taste is perfect. I make it at least once a week for my breakfast at work. Very feeling. Only thing I left out was the broth. I just use water for a more potato taste. Love your blog.


80 Debbie February 8, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Hi Susan,
Awesome recipes! first time I have been on your site but am going to continue to checkout your recipes in the future.
And I hope your kitten is doing well. Good to know I am not the only one who takes in more cats when you really have enough already! Sometimes you have to as you know they deserve a good home 🙂


81 Carol February 22, 2015 at 1:37 pm

This dish was fabulous. I wanted something less soupy and more stewey do I just decreased the amount of broth by about 40%. The milk and yeast fillip at the end made it over the top delicious.


82 Maya February 23, 2015 at 8:24 pm

Just made this. The fennel is such a great touch! I also loved the blended nut milk/potato/nooch. Thanks!


83 Hadas February 25, 2015 at 12:50 pm

I realize this recipe is over a year old but I made it last night and it is so flavorful! I don’t love fennel in general but it is just the right amount for this soup. I subbed thyme for rosemary (which I didn’t have) and used chickpeas in place of pinto. Thank you!


84 Lynne March 7, 2015 at 9:40 am

I think the main reason I saved this recipe was the cute potatoes. Embarrassing, I know. When I saw them at Whole Foods, I bought them. Again with the embarrassment! Having loved everything I’ve tried on your site, Susan, I decided to make this last night even thought for some reason, I didn’t think it would really appeal to me. Wrong! It’s wonderful! I used the 7-minute pressure cooking method (thanks Jen), 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (thanks Steven), less water (thanks Carol), and Rancho Gordo Good Mother Stallard beans. Incredibly delicious!! Thanks Susan!


85 NMcbee March 29, 2015 at 8:31 am

I LOVE this recipe and so many others here (anything with black-eyes peas, I am southern after all!). Several I have on the menu to make in upcoming weeks to freeze for a surgery. But my point in all of this is to say thanks for your efforts, thanks for your creativity, thanks for helping me have a delicious way to maintain a 100 lb weight loss, and thanks for your heart (see story above). Clearly the latter you have gifts to your daughter (as I believe my Mother did for me through her love and generosity.


86 plasterers bristol August 19, 2015 at 1:05 am

This was really good. Thanks for sharing this. Top marks.



87 joy September 23, 2015 at 12:06 pm

Susan this soup is amazing! I used white beans instead of pinto and it still turned out great!!!


88 Colleen February 8, 2016 at 9:40 am

This soup is delicious! I added 1-2T Genmai Miso and a couple of chopped sundried tomatoes and some salt and pepper. The flavor is complex and layered. I love your recipes because they are savory.
We also regularly cook your Healthy Hashbrown Casserole, often adding extra kale!
Thank you, Susan!!


89 Erin Vargas February 29, 2016 at 7:25 am

Tried this last night and it was divine! The fennel seeds gave it such a great flavor. I served it to guests and it was a hit! It looked just like the photo and was a beautiful hearty meal for us. I love all your recipes. I will be making this again.


90 Anthony March 6, 2016 at 4:48 am

I love kale because they are so healthy for our health. Thank you for your sharing!


91 Alyssa McCord March 7, 2016 at 10:08 pm

This was AMAZING! I made my veggie stock and cooked my beans so there was no sodium in it at all. I put a small sprinkling in my own bowl. The only change I made was cashew cream instead of milk and 4 tbs nutritional yeast.


92 Danielle November 28, 2016 at 8:36 am

I’ve made this twice and it’s really delicious. It’s one of those soups where you keep wanting there to be more broth even though there’s a lot of broth.

I used a vegan stock powder recipe I found on the Facebook McDougall Friends site. I also didn’t add beans as I’m not extremely fond of them and I also didn’t have any in the house! Since I didn’t add salt to the stock powder or beans, I added some salt and also some low sodium soy sauce.

Thanks for sharing your recipes.


93 Sunny February 6, 2017 at 11:58 am

To cut down on the sodium intake in this recipe, you could always try this recipe. — and a It makes great use of veggie peels & scraps, it tastes amazing & there’s hardly any salt. I use it when making mashed potatoes, soups, pasta. it’s perfect.


94 Nancy February 6, 2017 at 12:21 pm

I’ve read through most of the comments and don’t think I saw this….can I just swap out the kale for spinach (I have a distinct aversion to kale). Also…with the back story – kitten should be called (obviously) Cara.


95 Susan Voisin February 6, 2017 at 1:19 pm

Yes, you can use spinach or any green you like. You can just add spinach right at the end since it doesn’t require extra time to cook.

P.S. This is an old post, and we wound up calling the kitten Loki. He’s lived up to the name!


96 Holleah February 12, 2017 at 8:25 pm

Made this soup tonight. Very very good. I’m pretty new to the vegan lifestyle and was missing my zuppa something awful. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Will definitely make it again.


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