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January 5, 2017

by Alyssa

Creamy Italian Quinoa Soup

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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

Not only is it a cinch to make, but it's also healthy, full of flavor and is made entirely from plant-based goodies.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 216kcal
Author Alyssa Rimmer
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Creamy Italian Quinoa Soup -- packed with veggies, high in protein and made without any dairy!
4.7 from 10 votes



  • 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.
  • Add chickpeas and quinoa to the mixture.
  • 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).
  • 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"!
  • 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!


* substitute diced tomatoes if desired


Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 590mg | Potassium: 755mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 7180IU | Vitamin C: 15.8mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 3.7mg

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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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. I noticed many of your soups call for coconut milk. I do not like coconut, therefore, do you think I could substitute cashew cream for the coconut milk. If I can, would it be 1 cup of cashew cream for 1 cup of coconut milk?
    Thank you. Holly

  2. I made this for dinner last night and it was so delicious. I’m freezing 1/2 of the pot for a later date. Definitely adding this soup to my favorites list!

  3. I made this soup the other night and it was AWESOME! I substituted northern white beans for chickpeas (personally, I just don’t like chickpeas that much) and it was amazing. I’ve tried a handful of your recipes and they’re all amazing.

  4. 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?

  5. 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. ????

  6. Even some of the non vegs in my family love this soup. It is 90 degrees here and I made this today. It is that good.

  7. […] SoupHealthy Barley SoupThe BEST Tomato Basil Soup RecipeGinger Garlic Noodle Soup with Bok ChoyCreamy Italian Quinoa SoupHomemade Vegan “Chicken” Noodle SoupSpicy Black Bean […]

  8. 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!!

  9. 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!!

      • Hi,
        I’m very excited to try making this soup. It sounds delicious.
        I’ve never used miso. What kind did you use here – brown or white?
        And by “tamari”, did you mean soy souce?
        Thank you!

        • I like both and you really can’t taste the difference, so maybe whichever is more affordable 🙂 And yes, you can use soy sauce to replace the tamari!

  10. 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!

  11. 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 🙂

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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. 🙂

    • You could coconut cream, but that would change the flavor profile….so maybe the other option would be to blend up some chickpeas or tofu?

    • Depending on your blender, not necessarily. I have a high powered blender and didn’t soak mine at all and they came out totally smooth!


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