Simple Potato, Spinach and Sausage Soup – Vegan and Healthy

By Alexandra Caspero on March 24, 2017
If you love Olive Garden's Zuppa Tuscana soup then you'll love this plant-based version.
Serves 4-6
Creamy Sausage, Spinach and Potato Soup! A hearty plant-based soup recipe that’s perfect for colder months. 

I know the days are getting longer and the weather warmer, but I’m still in soup mode. Not big bowls of hearty chili mode, but comforting, slightly warm bowls filled with chunks of vegetables and bright flavors. It’s the perfect marriage between the two seasons, especially when paired with a salad and lots of crusty bread.

The inspiration for this recipe came after my husband made the most delicious pan-fried potatoes for dinner one night. They were so simple, but incredibly yummy. Quartered potatoes, a bit of olive oil, dried herbs and pepper flakes. I was craving them the next day, but wanted a heartier meal that would last for a few days.

If you love your soup hearty with lots of texture, then this soup brings it’s A game. Creamy potatoes, bright spinach and tender hunks of vegan sausage.

Healthy Plant-based Soup with Sausage, Potatoes and Spinach

Ingredients, Substitutions and Prepping 

For this simple soup, you’ll need: 

Produce: The benefit of this easy soup is that it relies mostly on pantry ingredients. I call for spinach, but you can sub in other dark leafy greens, like kale, if desired. You’ll also need olive oil to brown the veggies. 

  • White or yellow onion
  • Garlic cloves
  • Small red potatoes, or other small potatoes, halved or quartered depending on size 
  • Fresh baby spinach

Dried herbs, like oregano, basil and red pepper flakes

Vegan mild Italian sausage of choice: My favorite brands are Field Roast, Tofurkey and Beyond Sausage. If you are using Beyond sausage and want a crumble sausage, then I recommend removing the casing first. Impossible also has a new sausage out, but I haven’t tried it yet. 

Vegan Soup with Sausage, Potato and Spinach

Are plant-based meats healthy? 

Even if you aren’t plant-based, emerging research is showing that the vegan meat alternatives like Beyond Meat are healthier than the meat counterparts; plus, plant-based meats are naturally free of cholesterol, lower in saturated fat and similar in protein content. Since they are made from plants, they also have some fiber– especially the seitan based options. The only downside is they tend to be higher in sodium. 

Vegetable broth: I prefer a lower sodium vegetable broth, but any broth will work here. As always, I recommend that you taste your broth before adding it to the soup or at least go with a broth that you know and love. There are a few vegetable broths on the market that are so off-putting to me (namely, Trader Joe’s) and change the great flavor of the soup. 

Cashew cream or other non-dairy creamer: To mimic the taste of heavy cream typically used in a recipe like this, I recommend stirring in cashew cream or other non-dairy, unsweetened creamer right before serving. Oat creamer is great, or even a full-fat oat milk like Oatly. You want something with enough body and I don’t recommend using almond milk or another watery non-dairy milk. 

For a creamy option without any cream at all, you can also blend 1/2 cup of white beans or cannellini beans with 1/3 cup of water until very smooth. If you are looking for a soup with more heft, then I like to add in cooked white beans to this recipe sometimes. 

Vegan and gluten-free sausage and spinach soup

How to make cashew cream

To make cashew cream, blend together 1/2 cup raw cashews, 1/4 cup water, a tablespoon of olive oil, a tablespoon of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. 

For ease with blending, I recommend soaking the cashews in water for a few hours or doing a quick soak method with hot, boiling water over raw cashews for 10-15 minutes before blending. 

Plant-based sausage and spinach soup

Instructions for this Simple Plant-Based Soup Recipe

Like most soups, this one is fairly simple to put together. One of the primary reasons soups show up on my table so often this time of year. 

Start by heating the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot, then adding the onion and cook until very soft, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle in the spices to bloom along with the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, until just fragrant. 

Stir in the potatoes and cook until just lightly browned, about 5 more minutes. From there, add in the broth and increase heat to a low boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. 

Finish the soup by adding in the spinach until just wilted, then drizzling in the cashew cream or other cream and stir to combine. Season to taste, adding in more freshly ground black pepper or salt if needed. 

I will sometimes add a dash of fresh lemon juice to my soups right before serving. The small hit of acidity complements soup so well, giving it a bright, fresh taste. Serve with more red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese, either dairy-free or regular. 

sausage and spinach soup with potatoes

How to store leftovers

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers will keep for 4 – 5 days in the refrigerator, stored in a covered container.
  • Freezer: This sausage spinach soup is freezer friendly and can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 – 3 months. To freeze, let cool completely then place in freezer safe containers or freezer safe bags, leaving ½ inch head space for expansion. Thaw before reheating. 
  • Reheat: Reheat this soup on the stove over low heat until warm, or in the microwave with 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until warmed through. 

More Hearty Vegan Soup Recipes

Potato, Spinach and Sausage Soup. You are going to love this vegan and gluten-free soup! Similar to Olive Garden’s zuppa toscana. If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 

Print

Potato, Spinach and Sausage Soup

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: main dish, soup, healthy, vegan
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Italian Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Creamy Sausage, Spinach and Potato Soup! A hearty plant-based soup recipe that’s perfect for colder months. If you love Olive Garden’s Zuppa Tuscana soup then you’ll love this one. 


  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: main dish, soup, healthy, vegan
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Italian Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: main dish, soup, healthy, vegan
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Italian Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you like things spicy, like me)
  • 8 ounces vegan sausage, chopped (my favorites are Tofurky and Field Roast brands, find them in the deli section near tofu. More in the blog above)
  • 1 pound red potatoes or small yellow potatoes, quartered or halved depending on size
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup cashew cream (or other non-dairy cream option. See how to make cashew cream here)

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, pinch of salt and pepper, and sausage and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until sausage is lightly browned and onion has cooked down. Stir often so the sausage doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add the potatoes  and cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add in the vegetable broth and increase heat to a low boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender.
  4. Stir in the spinach until wilted, then remove from heat. Stir in the cashew cream, mixing to just combine, and taste for seasoning. Depending on the saltiness of your broth (I typically favor a low-sodium broth), you may need more salt/pepper.

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Kim Thomas
      December 14, 2021 AT 8:44 am

      What brand of vegetable broth do you recommend? Thank you so much.
      Take care,
      Kim Thomas

      1. Alex
        December 15, 2021 AT 8:13 am

        Hi Kim! I really like Better Than Bouillon vegetable base (I dilute it so it’s not as salty), Pacific vegetable broth or the Whole Foods store brand. The only broth I really dislike is Trader Joe’s vegetable broth.

    2. Becky
      June 28, 2021 AT 4:07 pm

      This was sooo good. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I loved this soup. It was so easy to make and so delicious! I did not use cashew cream, but I poured in some unsweatened oatmilk and it worked really well. I think next time I will use kale instead of spinach, but the spinach works well too.

    3. Laraine
      June 21, 2021 AT 2:25 pm

      This soup is the bomb! I used vegan sausage and almond milk. This one will definitely be added to our list of rotating recipes

    4. Camille
      August 16, 2020 AT 6:53 pm

      This soup is so delicious only thing I didn’t have was cashew milk I used almond milk and I didnt have spinach I used corn and added some lentils and I used some curry powder this soup is hearty and warm will make again

      1. Kelly Wotruba
        February 27, 2021 AT 4:15 pm

        I tested this recipe on my kids. They loved it, so it’s a win!!!

    5. Sara
      December 30, 2019 AT 11:15 am

      I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed this yet. This is my current favourite soup – I have made it at least a dozen times. I used Beyond Meat sausage which I find amazing (which is crazy as I didn’t like sausage when I ate meat ). I also add in mushrooms.

      Thank you so much!

      1. Alex
        December 30, 2019 AT 6:13 pm

        So glad you like it, thanks Sara!

    6. Susan Quesada
      November 4, 2019 AT 8:16 pm

      This was fabulous! I used 1/2 tub vegan cream cheese instead of cashew crema simply because I’d forgotten to soak the cashews. Thanks for the recipe!

      1. Alex
        November 5, 2019 AT 1:36 pm

        So glad you liked it!

    7. Krystle
      September 26, 2019 AT 9:41 am

      I have probably made this 10 times or more since last year. It is soooooooo yummy. Since fall is starting to kick in, it’s on the menu for next week. I do make a few adjustments just by preference. I use Beyond Meat’s brats for the sausages, kale instead of spinach, and I’m pretty sure I double the vegetable broth and add extra cashew cream as well but I can’t quite remember.

      Thank you for this recipe!! It is definitely a go-to and it’s super simple to make as well. 🙂

      1. Alex
        September 26, 2019 AT 11:15 am

        So glad you like it!

    8. Diane
      April 3, 2019 AT 7:35 am

      Can you sub water for broth?

      1. Alex
        April 3, 2019 AT 7:43 am

        You can, but you will need to add in some salt to make up for the flavor.

        1. Christina
          April 4, 2020 AT 3:29 pm

          Can you use frozen spinach?

          1. Alex
            April 13, 2020 AT 11:44 am

            Yes!

    9. Lucy Clark
      March 18, 2019 AT 6:11 am

      All me families and friends loves this! Felt good I can cook as simple as this with flavours so so delicious!

      1. Alex
        March 20, 2019 AT 6:50 am

        So glad you liked it! Thanks Lucy!

    10. Celine
      February 14, 2019 AT 9:46 pm

      Hi Hello I was just wondering what the serving size was? I’m trying to make dinner for three hehe

      1. Alex
        February 15, 2019 AT 6:14 am

        Hi Celine- sorry about this; I’m going through and working on adding in all of the prep/serving tags but for now- this makes about 4 generous servings.