This creamy gnocchi soup recipe is hearty, warming, and cozy. It’s loaded with pillowy potato dumplings, savory vegan sausage, softened kale, and a luxurious cashew broth.
Inspiration sometimes comes from unlikely places.
Take this creamy gnocchi soup. I got the idea for it from a grocery store ad.
They had a non-vegan soup recipe with sausage, kale, heavy cream, and gnocchi dropped right into the pot. I didn’t follow their recipe at all. But the idea of bringing those foods together – in plant-based form – sounded like a delicious combo.
And I was right!
This soup is maximum coziness. With a velvety cashew cream base, softened curly kale, savory sausage, and pillowy gnocchi, it’s hearty & comforting all at once.
Creamy gnocchi soup recipe
What is gnocchi?
It is an Italian potato dumpling that’s typically used like pasta.
Is gnocchi vegan?
No and yes.
Homemade gnocchi is usually not vegan. It’s typically made with potato, flour, and egg.
However, it’s not hard to make a vegan version at home. I have done it a few times using a recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance.
Luckily, this easy gnocchi soup recipe uses the packaged variety! No dough making necessary.
It’s pretty easy to find shelf stable gnocchi that’s vegan. Just read the ingredients. Rising Moon also sells frozen gnocchi that’s vegan.
The magic of roasted gnocchi
To cook gnocchi, it only has to be boiled. (And it’s much quicker cooking than most types of pasta!)
But for added texture, I love roasting it afterwards. It becomes a little crusty around the edges and has added bite. (When basil is in season, it’s delicious with almond pesto.)
Roasted gnocchi is also really nice in this soup, because it gives added oomph. It almost acts as a soft crouton.
If you’re short on time, though, roasting isn’t essential. You can just drop the shelf-stable potato dumplings into the soup pot during the last five minutes of cooking to heat them. They will obviously be a lot softer, but the flavors are still exceptional.
(I haven’t tried dropping the frozen variety into the soup. Because of the temperature differences, it may require a longer amount of time.)
What kind of sausage should I use?
There are loads of plant-based sausages on the market that would be terrific in this soup.
I used Beyond Meat hot Italian. You can find it with other vegan meats in the refrigerated section at natural grocery stores. Or sometimes it’s kept in the frozen section.
I like to keep Beyond Meat sausages in the freezer, right in their package, with a freezer bag around it. Then whenever I want one for soup, pasta, or pizza, I remove one sausage. I quickly bring it to temperature using the thaw function on the microwave.
It’s so handy. And it makes the sausages really last.
For this recipe, one sausage link, like you’d put in a hot dog bun, serves two people as a meal.
How to make creamy gnocchi soup
Start on the roasted gnocchi.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring water to a boil in a pot. Then add gnocchi to it.
After a couple minutes, they will float to the top. Drain.
Then move them to a clean kitchen towel to dry. Like all foods, gnocchi doesn’t roast as nicely if it’s wet.
Put it on a parchment paper covered baking sheet, drizzle with oil, and roast for 10 minutes, stopping once to flip.
Next, move on to making cashew cream.
In a high speed blender, combine ¼ cup raw cashews with ½ cup water. Blend until totally smooth. Then set aside.
(If you don’t have a high-speed blender, check out alternative directions in the notes section of the recipe box!)
Now it’s time to start on the soup itself!
Add a little oil to a soup pot along with slices of vegan sausage. Break up the sausage as you cook it.
Add onions & garlic to the pot. Sauté for a few minutes until translucent and fragrant.
Add dried basil, dried oregano, and granulated onion. Sauté for a minute more.
Add water & bouillon. Then bring to a simmer.
Add curly kale to the pot.
It will look like a lot of kale at first. But it will quickly wilt as it comes into contact with the warm broth.
Add reserved cashew cream. Then let all of the flavors intertwine.
Just before serving, add roasted gnocchi, salt, and pepper to the soup.
Can I reheat this soup?
Yes, it reheats nicely. However, the roasted gnocchi will continue to soak up & soften in the liquid over time.
Creamy gnocchi soup with vegan sausage & kale
- 1 cup gnocchi from shelf stable package
- 1 1/2 teaspoons organic canola oil divided
- 2 1/2 cups water divided (plus extra for boiling gnocchi)
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1 veggie sausage sliced. I use a Beyond Meat hot Italian sausage link (roughly 3 ounces of sausage)
- 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon, no chicken base or vegetable bouillon cube
- 3 packed cups chopped curly kale About 3-4 large leaves, with ribs removed
- Pinch salt or to taste
- Pinch pepper or to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Fill a medium sized pot with water, and bring to a boil. Add gnocchi* to pot. Boil for a couple minutes, until the gnocchi rises to the top of the pot. Drain in a colander. Then move the gnocchi to a clean kitchen towel to dry. (It roasts better when it's dry.) Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then lay the gnocchi on it and drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Spread the gnocchi evenly across the baking sheet. Then move to the oven. Roast for 10 minutes, stopping once to flip. Once it has finished cooking, remove from the oven & set aside.
- While the gnocchi roasts, continue with the recipe. First, make the cashew cream. In a high speed blender,** blend 1/2 cup water with 1/4 cup raw cashews until completely smooth. (Stop and scrape down the sides if needed.) Set aside to use later.
- Bring a soup pot to a medium heat with remaining teaspoon of oil. Add sausage pieces to pot & brown them. As they cook, break the pieces up with your spatula.
- Once the sausage pieces are browned & a little crisp around the edges, add onions and garlic.**** Saute for a few minutes, until they onions are translucent and fragrant.
- Add dried basil, dried oregano, and granulated onion. Saute for a minute more.
- Add remaining 2 cups of water to the pot & Better Than Bouillon or your preferred bouillon. Stir the soup & use a spoon to pick up any remaining bits of sausage stuck to the inside of the pot. Bring the water to a simmer.
- Put the chopped kale into the pot. It will look like a lot of kale, but it will quickly wilt as it comes into contact with the hot liquid. It should be even with the liquid in a few minutes.
- Finally, add the cashew cream to the pot. Stir to evenly combine. Cook for 5 more minutes while the flavors intertwine.
- Just before serving, add the roasted gnocchi to the soup pot. Add a pinch of salt & pepper (or more to taste).