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This kale and mushroom soup is a great way to utilize seasonal winter vegetables like mushrooms and garlic. Serve with bread or salad for a full meal.

Kale and mushroom soup in bowl with spoon.

I’m usually the one to use superlatives, but this time it was Alex who called this the “best soup ever.” Granted, he was probably making fun of me, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this vegetarian kale soup is one of our favorites – and it’s darn good! It’s a great way to use seasonal ingredients, with winter being prime time for hardy greens like kale.

Even better is the delicious flavor that the garlic (20 cloves of it!) brings to this broth, along with the savory shiitake mushrooms. While this is good news for garlic lovers like ourselves, don’t be dissuaded if you’re not a garlic lover. Somehow, the taste isn’t overly strong, but softens into a savory goodness. We weren’t even left with garlic breath!

Tips for this kale and mushroom soup

When making kale and mushroom soup, feel free to toss in whatever seasonal veggies you have on hand. This recipe doesn’t make a thick soup, so there’s room to throw in some extra ingredients. You’re also more than welcome to swap our the shitake mushrooms for button mushrooms, and the kale for spinach. Just make sure you cook the greens for only the last 5 to 10 minutes, otherwise they’ll become soggy.

Serving ideas

Because this soup contains leafy greens, I wouldn’t recommend freezing the leftovers. I’ve done this in a pinch, but I’ve yet to find a green that reheats well after being frozen. This vegetarian kale soup will last for up to a week in the fridge and can be served alongside a salad or some crusty bread.

More kale recipes

If you’re not a fan of kale, it’s likely because you’ve never had it prepared the right way! Kale can be used for so much more than salads. Here are a few of our favorite kale recipes:

Dietary notes

This kale and mushroom soup is vegetarian and vegan.

Frequently asked questions

What kind of kale can I use for this soup?

This recipe is versatile! You can use curly kale, also known as lacinato kale, or baby kale for a milder flavor and softer texture.

Can I substitute the kale with another green?

Yes! Spinach, Swiss chard, or even arugula can be used in place of kale.

What kind of mushrooms are best for this soup?

This recipe is for shiitake mushrooms. But you can also substitute cremini mushrooms, also known as baby bella mushrooms or white button mushrooms.

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Vegetarian Kale Soup with Mushrooms and Garlic | 13 Best Healthy & Easy Soup Recipes | Best soup recipes | Easy soup recipes

Kale and Mushroom Soup

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 1x


This vegetarian kale soup is a great way to utilize seasonal winter vegetables like mushrooms and garlic. Serve with bread or salad for a full meal.


  • 20 garlic cloves*
  • 5 ounces shiitake mushrooms**
  • 1 pound broad leaf kale (2 bunches)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ⅓ cup rice vinegar
  • 10 cups vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup farro
  • Kosher salt


  1. Thinly slice the garlic. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and thinly slice them. Roughly chop the kale.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and a bit of kosher salt, then sauté beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 2 minutes more. Add the rice vinegar; simmer, stirring, until vinegar is almost evaporated.
  3. Add the vegetable broth and farro to the pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the kale and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the kale is tender. Season to taste with kosher salt.


*This is not a typo! This really does have 20 cloves of garlic, but the flavor is not overly strong (it doesn’t leave us with garlic breath).

**Substitute cremini mushrooms, also known as baby bella mushrooms, or white button mushrooms.

  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Nita Petersen says:

    Options for subbing the farro? Have kiddos that don’t like the texture but LOVE the soup broth itself!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      You could do rice or elbow pasta until tender.

  2. Drew Alexis says:

    I added lemon zest and the juice of one meyer lemon, vegan chick’n, two vine ripened tomatoes, one and 1/2 teaspoon of red chili flakes, and 2/3 cup of dry white wine. I also used a mix of two types of kale and broccoli leaves. I also used apple cider vinegar for more flavor than the rice vinegar. It was delicious. Add t

  3. erica says:

    I just made a big pot of this soup…. (I decided to harvest most of my kale from the garden this evening, because of an arctic blast, and just planted my garlic for next year, so have lots of extra cloves ready to eat). It came out delicious! I made a few adjustments- used chicken broth, probably way more garlic, and instead of farro or barley I used a rice mixture. Also added white beans. (It’s cold out!!!) At the end I felt it needed a bit more spice, so I added parsley and black pepper. Served with a squeeze of fresh lemon and some fresh chunks of my homemade goat feta. So Yummy! Thank you!!!

  4. carlo says:

    I followed the directions, it looks really full of barley, it doesn’t look like the brothy soup in the picture. I didn’t have the shitaki so substituted. I didn’t have the rice vinigar and substituted cider. Vegetable broth? Sorry I don’t keep that in stock, who does. If you have to go out and buy $40 WORTH OF GROCERIES TO MAKE SOUP, SOMETHING IS WRONG.
    I’d cut that batrley down maybe to 1/4 cup if you like your soup brothy.
    I tell you though, even not following the recipe, using what I had on hand, it tastes pretty good, and I like the healthy foods in it. I bet the excact recipe is really tastey,

    1. Sonja says:

      I’m sorry to hear this wasn’t quite as expected, but I’m glad you found it tasted good! We’ve made it several times with good results.

  5. Emily Shalbrack says:

    Made this for lunch today. Didn’t have the right shrooms so subbed crimini instead. I added white onion, some ground white pepper and topped it with some stringy mozzarella. Will DEFINITELY make again. Delicious, very fresh, vibrant dish

  6. Pastrychef23 says:

    How have I not commented on this yet? This has become my go-to soup. I am a self described foodie with a horrible lazy streak. Unfortunately so, most of my “gourmet” meals are enjoyed as take-out, or a frozen meal for one. I discovered this soup during a rainy spell when I needed a healthy, tastes like it came from a restaurant but I can eat it for a week, kind of meal. This recipe is a god-send! Never (outside of baking sweets) has my house smelled so good. I cannot get enough of this soup, and being a meat-lover, I do not miss it in this total vegetarian/vegan dish! I recommend it all the time to friends and family, and all have fallen in love too. Sorry for being so wordy… I just really love this soup!

    1. Alex says:

      Haha! Wow — I never knew that one of our recipes could become so beloved! Thanks for letting us know; we love to hear when a recipe hits the spot :)

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