Creamy Italian Quinoa Soup

Author - Alyssa Rimmer

This Creamy Italian Quinoa Soup recipe is thick and hearty, but made without cream! Filled with veggies & plant-based protein, it's the perfect winter meal.

Creamy Italian Quinoa Soup -- packed with veggies, high in protein and made without any dairy!

Welcome back, my friends! This is my first recipe post back after the New Year and it only seems fitting that we make a super-duper cozy meal filled with veggies. It's time to shake off the holiday treats and get back to our healthy habits.

For me, that means filling my plate (and bowls) with veggies and plant-based proteins. If you've been following for a while, then you already know I'm pretty much a vegetarian at this point, but for those of you who aren't, I want to challenge you to something this year:

Eat 100% plant-based for one day a week.

Might sound a teeny bit scary I know, but trust me when I tell you this: when you nourish your body with plant-based foods and skip out on the meat and dairy, you are going to feel incredible. No joke. It's transformational.

Creamy Italian Quinoa Soup -- packed with veggies, high in protein and made without any dairy!

Now to me, plant-based doesn't necessarily mean vegan. It means focusing on plants (fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes) and skipping out on meat and dairy. Eggs are fine in my book, as is honey. Two things about that: you want to make sure your eggs are organic and free-range, and honey needs to be raw and preferably local.

So what does eating plant-based look like?

It's actually pretty simple. You can check out any of my What I Eat in a Day videos on my YouTube channel, but here's what a typical day could look like:

  • Breakfast: smoothie bowl OR oatmeal (my creamy coconut matcha oatmeal would be perfecto)
  • Lunch: green salad with chopped veggies and chickpeas OR a veggie sandwich/wrap
  • Dinner: a quinoa buddha bowl OR this creamy Italian quinoa soup

Snacks can include things like protein bars, fresh fruit, nuts/nut butters, lighter smoothies, etc. See what I mean? You can TOTALLY do that for one day week!

Creamy Italian Quinoa Soup -- packed with veggies, high in protein and made without any dairy!

I've discovered that dinners tend to be the most challenging for folks. They're either working full time with little time to cook, or are cooking for a family of picky eaters, and often times both, so “healthy” or “vegetarian” meals are out of the question.

And then there's the issue of taste. How many times have you heard (or even said to yourself), “Healthy food doesn't taste good”?

When I was first transitioning to this way of eating, I told myself the exact same thing. Until I realized it wasn't about the kind of food I was making (i.e. healthy food), it was about the way I was cooking and the ingredients I was using.

Which is precisely where this soup comes into play. Not only is it a cinch to make, but it's also healthy, full of flavor and is made entirely from plant-based goodies.

Creamy Italian Quinoa Soup -- packed with veggies, high in protein and made without any dairy!

The base of this soup starts with a mirepoix, which is just chopped up onions, carrots, and celery. Those get sauteed with some garlic, salt, and pepper, and begin to build the flavor of the soup. Then, it's on to the tomatoes.

Since we're in the heart of winter and tomatoes are certainly not in season here in New York, I knew to turn to canned was the best option. And my brand of choice? Always Tuttorosso.

If you remember back in October when I shared that recipe for my healthy tomato bisque, part of that also talked about why I adore this brand so much. I was lucky enough to tour their factory and saw that the tomatoes are picked at the peak of ripeness (which also means the best flavor) and are in the can in less than two hours. The quality blew me away!

And I truly believe that your food is only as good as the ingredients you cook with. Because when you use high-quality ingredients, your food is going to have more flavor and nutrition.

This CREAMY Italian Quinoa Soup is thick, hearty and made without any actual cream! [vegan]

I went with two different tomato products for this soup: stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce.

I chose stewed because I wanted the soup to have somewhat of a rustic feel. So by roughly chopping the stewed tomatoes, rather than using diced, there were larger chunks of tomato mixed in. Loved that! (if you don't want to use stewed, you can totally sub diced!)

The sauce gave the soup a nice thick texture, a gorgeous color and even more tomato flavor.  After all, we want this to be as tomato-y and Italian as possible, right?!

This CREAMY Italian Quinoa Soup is thick, hearty and made without any actual cream! [vegan]

This CREAMY Italian Quinoa Soup is thick, hearty and made without any actual cream! [vegan]

The other secret to this Italian quinoa soup? Cream of course! (<– jk we're not using dairy, remember?)

So instead of the actual cream, I whipped up a cashew cream in my blender and stirred that into the soup. All you need are cashews, nutritional yeast, miso paste (for that nice umami flavor), some water and a scoop of the soup base. Blend it all together and you have a cheesy-tasting cream without any of the dairy!

This CREAMY Italian Quinoa Soup is thick, hearty and made without any actual cream! [vegan]

And one final thing about this soup: it freezes wonderfully! You can make a big pot over the weekend, and freeze the leftovers in containers for lunches/dinners throughout the week. That means #noexcuses, my friend!

So are you ready to join me?

To make this a bit easier, let's start with just the month of January. For the next four weeks, let's make a goal to eat at least one day per week 100% plant-based. If you're up for it, click here to take the “pledge” and I'll send you a free ebook that contains 5 delicious, plant-based salad recipes!

Free Salad Ebook: meal-sized salads powered by plants!

This CREAMY Italian Quinoa Soup is thick, hearty and made without any actual cream! [vegan]

 

More Cozy Soup Recipes to Try:

Creamy Italian Quinoa Soup -- packed with veggies, high in protein and made without any dairy!
4.41 from 5 votes
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Creamy Italian Quinoa Soup

Not only is it a cinch to make, but it's also healthy, full of flavor and is made entirely from plant-based goodies.

Course Soup
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword quinoa soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 216 kcal
Author Alyssa Rimmer

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic and saute until carrots have started to soften, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add chickpeas and quinoa to the mixture.
  3. Roughly chop the stewed tomatoes, then add them, along with the juice, to the pot with the sauce, broth and herbs and stir to combine. Season with a bit more salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to simmer and simmer, partially covered, for 20 - 30 minutes (or longer if desired).
  4. While the soup is cooking, add the cashews, nutritional yeast, miso, water and 1/2 cup of the soup broth (just scoop it from the pot) into a high-powered blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. This is your "cream"!

  5. When ready to serve, stir in spinach and cashew cream. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary (I stirred in a touch more nutritional yeast). Serve immediately!

Recipe Notes

* substitute diced tomatoes if desired

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Italian Quinoa Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 216 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 590mg26%
Potassium 755mg22%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 7180IU144%
Vitamin C 15.8mg19%
Calcium 97mg10%
Iron 3.7mg21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post was sponsored by Tuttorosso, but all opinions are my own. As always, thank you for supporting the brands that I love and I hope you try their tomatoes!

 

 

This CREAMY Italian Quinoa Soup is thick, hearty and made without any actual cream! [vegan]

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  1. Your recipes look amazing! I’m trying to eat more plant based meals but many recipes have chickpeas and chickpeas and I don’t get along. Is there a substitute for them?

  2. A-Mazing‼️ Thanks
    I used chopped frozen spinach, which was a bit easier for me.
    Always looking for amazing flavor without meat, and this tasted like more, for even the meat lovers. 😊

  3. Just made this and …… AHMAZING!!! Being vegetarian for 9 years I’m always looking for new veggie soups in the winter and this one knocked it out of the park! The cashew cream with miso is brilliant . Thank you Alyssa!!

  4. I am eating a bowl of this awesome soup now! It is soooo delicious!
    I sautéed the veggies in a bit of water (not using oil) and thinking next time may use a white bean instead of chick peas…..
    Thank you for this recipe; it is hands down one of the best I’ve tried…..and I think that brand of tomatoes made a huge difference. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!!

  5. Thumbs up!! My boys (including Dad) usually want meat with dinner. I made this and everyone finished their bowls!! I skipped the cashew cream (although that sounds delightful) and went a heavy cream. Also, topped with a bit of parmesan cheese…I know, I know, but it was YUMMY!

  6. Love this soup! It was a big hit in my house! Delicious! Do you happen to know how many cups this recipe makes? Trying to calculate Weight Watchers points 🙂

  7. This creamy Italian quinoa soup is incredible. I’ve had it three times this week. My new favorite go to soup when it’s chilly outside. I add Cabbage to mine.

  8. Oh my god Alyssa!! I am totally obsessed with the recipes, every single day I have to visit your website and pull something out and try it, I have a list for faves… I just tried this creamy yumm-ness!!! Oh my god!
    I cooked all kind of things, cookies, breakfast bowls, soups, pesto divine sauce, and I don’t know what to say other than thank you!

  9. I’m allergic to cashews. Is there a substitution you could recommend? I’d use a dairy product but that would defeat the purpose 😉

    • Macadamia nuts or Brazil nuts both make fantastic rich nut creams. Raw brazil nuts are pretty easy to find in a WholeFoods or heath store. Hemp hearts are another option, but they have a slightly grassy flavor.
      Sorry you can’t enjoy cashews. 🙂

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