Kale simmers with onion and garlic for a flavorful, healthy Vegetarian Kale Soup recipe. Beans and tempeh provide substance and protein. Read on for details and a wine pairing suggestion, or click here to jump down to the recipe.
My tasty version of Portuguese Kale Soup is one of the most popular recipes here on Cooking Chat, aided by having been pinned thousands of time on Pinterest. Loaded with veggies, that Portuguese Kale Soup is pretty healthy. But it occurred to me it would be nice to offer a Vegetarian Kale Soup as well, made in similar fashion but skipping the sausages.
I used tempeh instead of sausages to provide a source of protein, in addition to the kidney beans I use in the Portuguese Kale Soup recipe. Tempeh is a protein rich food made from cured soy beans; and I find it adds more flavor to dishes than tofu. You can order tempeh by the case here on Amazon using my affiliate link if you would like.
A sweet potato gets added to this recipe, along with Russet potatoes, adding additional flavor and nutrition.
After 40 minutes of simmering all these veggies together, this Vegetarian Kale Soup has lots of rich flavor! And like many soups, this is even better re-heated the second day. This Vegetarian Kale Soup is a great alternative to Portuguese Kale Soup with sausage for vegetarians or others simply looking to eat less meat. I called this recipe “vegetarian” but it does qualify as vegan, with no animal products used.
Wine Pairing for Vegetarian Kale Soup
Portuguese wine seemed to make sense, seeing as I was making this recipe as an alternative to our Portuguese Kale Soup recipe. So I served the Vegetarian Kale Soup with the 2015 JP Azeitão Red ($8, 13.5% ABV). The wine is from Peninsula de Setubal, comprised of 55 % Syrah along with Portuguese varietals Castelão (25%) and Arogonez (20%).
- 1 8 oz package tempeh, broken or chopped into bite sized pieces
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled chopped
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups of water
- 6 cups of kale, stems removed & coarsely chopped
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 14.5 oz can red kidney beans
- pinch crushed red pepper flakes & salt to taste
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large soup pot on medium heat. Add the tempeh, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The tempeh will begin to brown a bit. Remove the tempeh from the pot and set aside.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil in the soup pan, then add the onions. Sauté for 5 minutes on medium, then add carrots and sauté a few more minutes.
- Stir in the russet and sweet potatoes, then add the garlic. Cook for a minute or two, then add the stock and water. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to simmer on medium for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes the veggies should be starting to get soft. Use a sturdy spoon to smash some of the potato and butternut against the side of the pot, to thicken the soup. Stir in the kale in a few batches, to allow some to cook down a bit to create more room. Add salt to taste and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Stir in the tempeh and the kidney beans, and add the soy sauce. Cook for another 10 minutes to let all the flavors meld. More cooking time is great, too, if you've got the time! When it's cooked to your liking, serve with a crusty bread and glass of Portuguese wine to round things out.
Want another idea for a healthy vegetarian soup? Check out our Roasted Cauliflower Kale Soup!