My Italian vegetable soup with spicy sausage is one of my favorite soups to enjoy when a comforting yet light meal is what I crave. Prepared with lots of flavorful and aromatic veggies such as leeks, fennel, parsnips, diced tomatoes and kale, plus creamy navy beans, this mildly spicy soup is made extra hearty with a spoonful of tender gnocchi added in!
A Rich, Brothy Soup With a Bit of a Kick
Often times when my hubby and I find ourselves without an appetite for something specific, I'll typically turn to preparing a light, savory and cozy pot of soup to sustain us for a few days.
Soup, when prepared with lots of love and good, flavorful ingredients, is such an incredibly satisfying meal, which somehow always seems inviting to us, as it has a wonderful knack for leaving us fully satisfied without feeling as if we've eaten a meal that is too rich or too heavy.
One of our favorite kinds of soup is one that is both savory and brothy, brimming with lots of diced vegetables that offer texture, complex flavor and a good bit of earthiness.
And if we're craving a soup with some kick to it, I like to add in a couple of links of spicy Italian sausage for a bit of rich flavor, and just the right amount of heat.
My Italian vegetable soup with spicy sausage is one of our favorite soup recipes, and we enjoy it with the addition of tender, pillowy gnocchi added to our individual bowls when we're craving a slightly heartier version.
Very easy to prepare and simmer up, this scrumptious soup is perfect for all seasons, when a meal that's thoroughly nutritious and a little bit on the lighter side sounds like the perfect thing to warm the belly.
How to Make Italian Vegetable Soup
I love to use a variety of aromatic vegetables for my Italian vegetable soup recipe, each bringing a bit of sweetness, savoriness, and earthiness.
The combination that I enjoy here are leeks, fennel, parsnip, carrot and celery, along with a good amount of garlic. I also add in some good quality canned whole tomatoes which I coarsely chop, along with some navy beans and a finishing touch of kale gently wilted in at the end.
Simmered to perfection in around 20 minutes, it's a terrific soup recipe to prepare when you're longing for something comforting yet nourishing that you can enjoy for a couple of days!
Here's a glance at my Italian vegetable soup with spicy sausage recipe: (or just jump to the recipe...)
- To my soup pot, I add a bit of olive oil or avocado oil, and brown up some crumbled up spicy Italian sausage links; then, I add in the diced veggies and stir them in, allowing them to become softened with the browned sausage.
- Next, I add in the garlic, and once that is aromatic, I add in the chopped tomatoes and the drained and rinsed navy beans, followed by the chicken stock/broth, and stir to combine.
- I allow the soup to simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes; and to finish the soup, I stir in the kale just until wilted, along with the parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice.
- To serve, I spoon some cooked gnocchi into individual serving bowls, and drizzle with a touch more olive oil and a sprinkle of parmesan, if desired.
Italian Vegetable Soup with Spicy Sausage
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 449 calories (with about ⅓ cup of cooked gnocchi)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
- 1 (16 ounce) package gnocchi (optional)
- Olive or avocado oil
- 2 links spicy Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
- 2 leeks (white part only), washed, halved, and sliced thinly
- 1 fennel bulb, quartered, core removed, and sliced thinly
- 1 large parsnip, peeled and diced
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 rib celery, diced
- Black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained of juice and roughly chopped into large chunks
- 1 (15 ounce) can navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 6 cups chicken stock/broth
- 1 cup chopped kale
- 1 tablespoon chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
- Squeeze of lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
- Shaved or grated parmesan cheese as garnish, if desired
- If preparing the gnocchi, cook them according to the package instructions, then set them aside, keeping them warm.
- Place a large soup pot over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of oil; once hot, crumble in the Italian sausage and brown for a few minutes; add in leeks, fennel, parsnip, carrot, and celery, and stir together; add a pinch of salt and pepper, plus the Italian seasoning, and saute everything for a few minutes until the veggies become tender.
- Stir in the garlic, and once it becomes aromatic, add the chopped tomatoes and the navy beans; then, pour in the chicken stock/broth, and stir to combine.
- Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the veggies are tender; turn off the heat, and stir in the kale, the flat-leaf parsley, and the squeeze of lemon; check to see if any additional salt and pepper is needed.
- Add a small amount of the cooked gnocchi to a bowl, and ladle some of the hot soup over; drizzle with a little extra olive oil, plus a sprinkle of parmesan (if desired), and enjoy.
Tips & Tidbits for my Italian Vegetable Soup with Spicy Sausage:
- Flavorful, earthy vegetables: I love the combination of flavors that parsnips, fennel, and leeks bring to this soup, along with classic carrots and celery. These offer both mild sweetness and savoriness to this soup, plus some nice, complex earthy flavor.
- Spicy sausage, or favorite variety: Spicy Italian sausage links with their casing removed and crumbled up are my favorite for this recipe, but you could always substitute sweet Italian sausage or even your favorite kind of flavored sausage. Chicken sausage, diced up finely, is a great option here as well.
- Serve over cooked gnocchi, or your choice of pasta: While the gnocchi offer a bit of a pillowy bite, pasta is a terrific substitute here. You can use elbow macaroni, ditalini, orzo, or whatever you happen to have on hand.
- Vegetarian option for Italian vegetable soup: If you'd like to prepare this recipe completely vegetarian, simply leave out the sausage (you can even sub a vegetarian meat-alternative if you'd like), and use vegetable stock/broth in place of the chicken.
Cook’s Note: This recipe was originally published in 2017, and has been updated with even more love!