December 10, 2018

Tuscan Kale Soup Recipe – Kale Soup

A five-star rated soup! A hearty, vegetable packed soup perfect for Fall and Winter.
Serves 4

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. 

I’m pretty sure that soup is always the answer.

This time of year, I want soup for 64% of my meals. I crave it on chilly, snowy nights and the leftovers always make the perfect lunch. 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.

My husband always tells me that my soups are one of his favorite things I make. Which, sometimes feels like an odd compliment. Isn’t soup one of the easiest foods to cook? I find that no matter what’s lurking in my fridge or pantry, I can almost always make a killer soup. These are the tips I rely on every time.

Tuscan Kale Soup Recipe

My Tips for Flavorful Kale Soup

  • The secret to really good soup is of course, really good broth. I usually 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 Base and Orrington Farms Broth Base
  • Saute the vegetables first in fat. This is where most of the flavor comes from, especially since we aren’t using any animal products. I do a thin layer of vegetable oil or olive oil on the bottom of the stock pot and let it get nice and hot before adding in the onions, celery and carrots. From there, I let them cook for as long as I can until they are caramelized and browned. If I’m not in a rush, I’ll let them cook over medium-low heat for almost 20 minutes. Just make sure to stir often so they don’t burn. 
  • For an added layer of flavor, I use fire-roasted diced tomatoes instead of regular diced tomatoes. You should be able to find these in the grocery store where the other diced tomatoes are. The smoky flavor tastes great in just about any soup or chili.
  • Stir in lemon juice right before serving. The added acid balances the heat and the salt; it’s my secret weapon in almost every meal.

pot of vegan tuscan kale soup with orzo

Is Kale good for you in soup?

Kale is a nutrient powerhouse– there’s a reason it’s 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 it shape after cooking and is perfect in soup. 

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 reduce cancer risk, likely due to  containing glucosinolates, which have shown to have anti-carcinogenic properties. 

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. 


 tuscan kale soup with pasta

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 stove top or in the microwave. As the orzo pasta will absorb more broth as it cools, you may need to add in additional broth while reheating.

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 before adding to the soup. 


bowl of tuscan kale soup

More healthy soup recipes:

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 

kale soup

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


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. 

  • 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
  • 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


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon 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
  • Carbohydrates: 36 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Cholesterol: 0g

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.


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  1. I grow kale every summer and am always looking for new recipes to use it in. Plus, I have a vegetarian daughter, this recipe is amazing! Made it exactly like it said, and my whole family loved it!

  2. Unless I am missing something, you don’t make it easy to try and print the recipe out. I like having a printed version so it is easier to follow when in the kitchen as opposed to having to run back and forth and opening my phone every time just to see the next step.

  3. made this tonight! my sister said it’s the best thing I’ve made, and I’ve cooked a lot over the pandemic! great recipe 🙂 subbed orzo for ditalini pasta and fire-roasted tomatoes for a regular can of diced tomatoes. I added some homemade croutons as well to top it off! it. was. delicious. thanks!

  4. Hi Alex, I made this soup tonight and loved it! I substituted orzo with GF chickpea shell pasta and used 365 vegetable broth from Whole Foods instead of water. The lemon juice made a lot of difference! This is my favorite kale soup recipe from now on. Thank you for creating and sharing this wonderful dinner soup.

  5. Delicious!!
    I made this in my electric pressure cooker, and used brown rice. SO so good! Cooked on high for 18 minutes with a 10 minute natural release. Perfect! This recipe is an excellent example of why every kitchen needs a great go-to homemade veggie stock recipe. YUM, thanks for posting this keeper!

  6. Hi Alex, this soup looks amazing. What would be your suggestion for the best GF substitute for the orzo?

  7. This is the second time I’ve made this soup because my family loved it! This will be in regular rotation!

  8. Amazing recipe! Easy and really appreciate the tips to insure it comes out great the first time! A hit with my entire family!

  9. I’m thinking of making this for meal prep. Should I cook the orzo separately and then add it only when im reheating the meals?

    • Yes, that’s what I would do. The orzo will soak up a lot of broth as it sits, so if I’m making a soup with pasta for meal prep, then I will cook, rinse the noodles and store them separately. Then add before eating.

  10. Never used Orzo before and we loved this soup. Perfect for all these rainy days we have been having.

  11. Great flavor combo. I made this two nights ago, and we devoured the pot in one sitting. I finally found a way to get my hubby to eat his greens 🙂

  12. Hi–I’m in process of making the soup for tonight–does it have garlic in it? I don’t see garlic in the ingredients list, but you mention not burning the veggies, as garlic especially gets bitter. Thanks! Can’t wait to taste it.

    • Ah! Well- guess it’s up to you. 😉 If you use garlic, then I would add in 2 regular size cloves, chopped. Add this when you add the rest of the vegetables. Enjoy!

  13. This recipe was fantastic! I took the tip at the beginning and sauteed the veggies 15 min. Gave such a sweetness to the broth.

    The red pepper flakes add that something for a stand out soup. Plus anything to get me eating kale Haha hate the stuff but in this it was great. Perfrct crunch.

  14. Added less red peppers flakes, a can of chickpeas and 1 medium potato plus for the meat lovers I cooked linguica separately and they added it to the soup. Perfect flavor, not too spicy. Served with garlic bread My family loved it

  15. Looks great – I’ve made several of your recipes in the last few months and they’ve all been winners! One question, just for the sake of my learning. What’s the intent behind using both broth and water? If the broth is part of the flavor base, wouldn’t it be more flavorful to just use more broth instead of water? Or is there another purpose behind the water? Thanks!

    • So glad you like it Jenny! I usually add in some water with broth to reduce salt/cost overall, but you can use all broth in recipes if you’d like.

  16. Hi Alex! This soup will be a go to soup for us! Great flavor and a perfect weekend dinner and great leftovers for lunch. Delish!!!! Thanks so much!

  17. Can’t wait to make this soup, it looks so good! Curious, where does all the protein come from? The kale?

  18. Damn that was delicious. But I did a double take when i saw the price tag on the orzo so I just used rice instead. That probably made it a bit stodgier than yours but all the flavours were still there. The lemon at the end was a bit of a revelation as well. Will definitely make again.

  19. I made this last night. I added in Cannellini Beans at the very end with the kale. It was delicious and so easy!! Thanks!

  20. This soup is absolutely delicious and very easy to make! It is very filling, full of flavor and has a good amount of spice. It has been great for lunches and an easy dinner! I did add an extra can of fire roasted tomatoes just because I love tomatoes and did add a little extra kale and all turned out well! Thanks Alex!!

    • Hi Damaris, while soup is a great freezer meal, there’s one component that doesn’t hold up very well when defrosted and reheated: the noodles. Therefore, if you plan on freezing this soup, don’t add the noodles just yet. Instead, wait to add noodles until you take the soup from the freezer and reheat it.

  21. Alex – this was one of our family’s favorites. We have 3 kids – 8, 6 and 3. They all ate this! I loved that I had everything on hand and I did let the veggies sit for about 25 minutes to really brown …. so good! It was delicious and I quite liked the lemon juice at the end to really brighten the dish. This one is a keeper – thank you!