Italian Vegetable Soup

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Italian vegetable soup, loaded with flavor and nutrition and better than mmm….mmm…good. We are still in soup season and this soup is perfect for warming you on up breezy spring days.
The Soupy Inspiration
Back in my pre-vegan days, I made a spicy Italian soup. It was pretty darn good. But full of both pasta and meat. Not so great for those plant based and gluten free!
But the silver lining – the perfect recipe to give a makeover too!
Hence, this soup was born.
Loaded with Flavor and Nutrition
Yes, this soup is loaded and then loaded some more with vegetables. Don’t let that fool you into thinking that it will be bland and non tasty though. This soup is FLAVOR loaded. Herbs and spices + a delicious plant based ‘meat’ give it a spicy kick.
But if you need some more heat to it…I recommended adding a dash of your favorite sriracha right before serving. If spicy isn’t too your liking, check out my friend over at The Helpful GF who has a delicious traditional yet hearty gluten free vegetable stew!

The Plant Based Meat

Round here at Bad to the Bowl, we like to keep things on the healthier side (okay, we do share some decadent desserts, guilty as charged) but for the most part we keep it whole foods plant based.
So our take on ‘fake’ meats…well they don’t seem the healthiest in the world when you look at the ingredients or processing. BUT –
(there is always a but, huh?)
We aren’t beyond the occasional try of fake meat and we do understand the convenience of them. (which in other news, have you seen how the Beef Industry does not like the phrase ‘fake meat’?)
There are many on the market to try – and I have not really tried that many of them. Beyond Meat is on my list to try…
ANYWAYS – that being said. At the Grand Rapids VegFest last year, I did have the opportunity to meet a local plant based ‘meat’ producer. NutCase Vegan produces a ‘meat’ that is flavorful but also avoids pro-inflammatory foods (this is key to me!). Their products are gluten-free, soy-free, and corn-free. And while you can definitely taste the walnuts in the ‘meat’, I did think it added a great depth of flavor to this soup. For this soup, I used the All in One Hot Italian Sausage,I love that it uses all ingredients that I know and can pronounce such as brown rice, quinoa, flax seed walnuts and spices.


You can purchase their plant based meats online or if you are in the Michigan area they retail at quite a few stores.

If you are unsure about purchasing this ‘meat’, please substitute with your favorite vegan meat substitute. You will want to choose one that is ‘sausage’ like and has a tiny spice to it! Update: I have updated this recipe to be used with Morningstar Grillers Crumbles and added fennel and crushed red pepper. This makes this soup accessible to everyone as most grocers carry the popular brand of Morningstar. 
Onto the recipe!

How to Make Italian Vegetable Soup

This soup comes together easily on the stovetop! You will need to wash and prep your vegetables. Sauté your onion and garlic until soft and then add your choice of plant based meat. If not using sausage, I recommend adding crushed fennel and red pepper to give it a sausage like spicier taste.

You will need canned tomatoes, Italian spices such as basil and oregano and of course garlic! Vegetables include summer squash, zucchini, red pepper and sweet potato. Black beans add additional protein.

Add all ingredients to a pot and simmer until tender. This soup is great for meal prep! You can freeze and I have done that, but do note that the vegetables may change in texture when frozen.

If you make this vegan soup, I would love to know! Tag @badtothebowl on social media.

italian vegetable soup
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Spicy Italian Vegetable Soup

Vegetables, beans and spicy sausage! All plant based for a tasty soup bowl.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Soup
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 300kcal


  • Mornigstar Grillers Crumbles with 1/4 teaspoon crushed fennel and dash of crushed red pepper OR 12 oz Nutcase Vegan Italian Sausage (or your favorite plant based sausage)
  • 3/4 cup diced sweet onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into small chunks
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 small summer squash, diced
  • 1 – 14.5 oz can Italian diced tomatoes, oil – free
  • 1 – 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, salt – free
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 – 15 oz can black beans, rinsed well
  • 2 Tblsp fresh chopped basil or 2 tsp dried
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt + more to taste
  • pinch of fresh black pepper


  • In medium sized skillet, crumble plant based sausage with diced onion and garlic, sauté until onion is tender.
  • Transfer ingredients of skillet to large stock pot on stove. Add all remaining ingredients! If mixture appears to be ‘thick’ add 1/2 cup of water at a time to get desired level of ‘soup’. (I like mine thicker).
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Taste and add additional salt if needed.  
  • Transfer to serving bowls, top with avocado and drizzle of sriracha.


Calories: 300kcal

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