This Vegan Colcannon Soup is a twist on the Irish classic. A creamy soup filled with potatoes and kale, it is perfect for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration or anytime you need an easy-to-make cozy meal. This Colcannon Soup recipe is both kid and meat-eater approved!
Why Potatoes Are Great
I grew up mainly with my Irish side of the family, so potatoes were a big part of dinners when we got together. Anytime I have some creamy potatoes, I think of my Nana and the good times I’ve shared with her.
Lately, though, potatoes have gotten a bad rap because of the low-carb craze. While I agree that sweet potatoes offer a bigger punch nutritionally, it doesn’t hurt to have some regular old potatoes sometimes.
I also feel it’s my duty to let you know that all carbs are NOT created equal. White potatoes, like the russets I used in this recipe, are not processed like white bread or pasta. They’re actually a whole food that contains some vitamins and minerals we need (like potassium and vitamins B6 and C).
So let’s give our friend the potato a chance – especially in this tasty Vegan Colcannon Soup! (Oh, and if you need a healthier replacement for your favorite mashed potatoes, check out my dreamy Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes.)
Why You Should Make This Vegan Soup
If you haven’t heard of it before, colcannon is a traditional Irish dish that is essentially mashed potatoes with added veggies (most often cabbage or kale) and herbs. The first time I tried it, I was in love! Adding two of my favorite veggies together? Yes, please!
I thought about doing a regular vegan colcannon, but I loved it so much that I wanted to turn it into a complete meal instead of a side. In the winter I always crave soup, so I decided to turn this Irish staple into a hearty one-bowl meal of onions, potatoes, and kale.
I have to tell you honestly that this soup has become one of Matt and my favorite meals! It has a relatively short ingredient list and takes just 10 minutes of prep, making it perfect for even busy weeknights.
On top of being vegan (and pretty dang healthy, to boot), this soup is also naturally gluten free. How great is that?
And, since basically everyone loves potatoes, this is a great vegan dish that even kids and omnivores can get behind! It is so comforting and cozy, which is just what I need when there’s still a chill in the air. Speaking of potatoes, have you tried these Cheesy Airfryer Potato Wedges?
I’ve made this colcannon soup recipe numerous times while testing and still can’t get enough of it. I think I’m going to try a version with cabbage too, so I’ll keep you updated on how that turns out.
Just do yourself a favor this St. Patrick’s Day and meet me in the kitchen to make this yummy Vegan Colcannon Soup. I promise it’ll be worth it!
Ingredients & Substitutions
This soup uses common ingredients and pantry staples so no need to worry about any hard-to-find items.
For the recipe, you’ll need:
- Olive oil: If you don’t use oil, don’t worry, you can sauté in water or veggie broth.
- Onions & Garlic: To add lots of flavor. While fresh onion and garlic add texture and flavor feel free to use the powdered kind if that’s what you have on hand.
- Vegetable broth: For the base of the soup. You can substitute veggie stock.
- Potatoes: I use Russet potatoes but you can also use Yukon Gold.
- Kale: You can substitute another green such as spinach, however, spinach will take less time to heat through than kale. You could also substitute cabbage by adding it to the soup about 1/2 way through the potato cooking time.
- Raw Cashews: To add creaminess to the soup. I have not used anything other than cashews to make the soup creamy.
- Salt & Pepper: For seasoning.
How to Make Vegan Colcannon Soup
Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add onions and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
Add vegetable broth, potatoes, salt and pepper to pot. Cover and cook over medium heat until potatoes are fully cooked and are starting to break apart, about 20 mins.
While the potatoes are cooking, add cashews and water to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
TIP: I use a high speed blender like a Vitamix when blending the cashews. While a powerful blender is well worth the investment, I know they’re pricey. If you don’t have one on hand, soak your cashews in hot water for about 4 hours before adding to a regular blender.
Once the potatoes are cooked, mash them a bit with a fork so that half of them are broken apart. This will help to thicken the soup!
Add kale and cook for a few minutes until kale is cooked to your liking.
Add cashew cream to pot and stir until fully combined and cook for another few minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Top with scallions and enjoy!
TIP: Fresh scallions not your favorite? Top my Vegan Colcannon Soup recipe with some fresh parsley instead so you still get that pretty green pop of color.
See FAQ below on how to cook the soup in an Instant Pot or Crockpot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honestly, I have not tried any substitutes for cashews. I have used macadamia nuts as a substitute for cashews in other creamy sauces so that might work.
If you’re allergic to nuts, I have heard that sunflower seeds can replace cashews to make things creamy. Be sure to get raw sunflower seeds and soak them before blending to make them softer.
With any substitutes, I can’t say that the soup will taste exactly the same as it does with cashews.
Yes, cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours (until potatoes are falling apart). Mash potatoes with fork or potato masher and then stir in kale until wilted. Add in the cashew cream a few minutes before you’re ready to serve.
Yes, you can! Put all ingredients in the Instant Pot except cashew cream and kale. Pressure cook on High for 9 minutes. Once finished, turn the valve to quick release. (Rember that the IP will take 10 minutes or so to come to pressure and the timer will begin. Mash potatoes with a fork or potato masher and then add kale until wilted. Add in the cashew cream a few minutes before you’re ready to serve.
I see you’re a fan of food from the UK! Traditional colcannon is softer in consistency, more like mashed potatoes. Bubble and squeak would be what you’d get after refrigerating the leftover colcannon overnight and frying it up like a pancake.
Yes! This soup should keep in the freezer for up to three months. But if you’re anything like me, there’s no way you’ll have any leftovers for that – it’s too delicious!
Honestly, it’s pronounced the way it’s written. “COAL-cannon.” Easy, right?
Need more vegan soup inspiration? Check out these other tasty recipes:
If you make this recipe and LOVE IT, please give it 5 stars ★★★★★!
Vegan Colcannon Soup
- 2 TB olive oil (can use a few more tablespoons of water if you don't use oil)
- 1 small onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 cups vegetable broth or stock
- 2 cups russet potatoes peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1.5 cups kale stems removed and chopped
- 1/2 cup cashews soaked in hot water for 10 mins, then rinsed
- 1/2 cup water
- Scallions for topping
- Heat oil in large pot. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent (3-5 mins). If you're not using oil, saute in a little bit of water
- Add vegetable broth, potatoes, salt and pepper to pot and cook covered on medium until potatoes are fully cooked and are starting to break apart (about 20 mins).
- While the potatoes are cooking, add cashews and water to a high-speed blender* and blend until smooth.
- Once potatoes are cooked, mash them a bit with a fork so that half of them are broken apart.
- Add kale to soup and cook for a few minutes until kale is done to your liking.
- Add cashew cream to pot and stir until fully combined and cook for another few minutes.
- Top with scallions and enjoy!
- See FAQ section for how to make the soup in an Instant Pot or Crockpot.
- I use a high-speed blender like a Vitamix when blending the cashews. While a powerful blender is well worth the investment, I know they’re pricey. If you don’t have one on hand, soak your cashews in hot water for about 4 hours before adding them to a regular blender.
- Soup will last for up to a week in the refrigerator or up to three months in the freezer.
Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist who empowers vegans to feel confident creating sustainable habits that align with their values and health goals. She shares easy plant-powered food to nourish your body + satisfy your tastebuds. Mary Ellen’s recipes and nutrition info has been featured on Yahoo News, Parade, VegNews, LIVESTRONG, Dr. Axe, Greatist, LIVEKINDLY, Brit+Co, Well+Good, and more. She lives in NJ with her husband & two sweet shih tzus, Firenze & Sophie.