Recipe credit = A Couple Cooks
Prep time = 5 minutes
Cook time = 25-30 minutes
Servings = Makes 4 sizable bowls of soup
Categories = vegetarian, vegan (depending on toppings), soup
If you’ve never had gnocchi, we need to change that ASAP! This tomato and gnocchi soup from A Couple Cooks was actually my first venture with gnocchi, and I quickly became obsessed--its so easy to make, and its chewy, pillow-like texture is both delicious and the perfect filling addition to soups, salads, anything!
About a year ago, I started searching for more meatless recipes. I’m not a full-blown vegetarian, but I recognize the positive impacts a reduction in meat consumption (especially red meat) has on both physical health and the environment. So I keep my breakfasts and lunches meat-free, and then incorporate a few vegetarian entrees to our weekly dinner line-up too.
Unfortunately, not all the vegetarian recipes we’ve tried are as satisfying (and filling!) as the chicken, turkey, or ground beef meals we’re accustomed to. That’s not the case with this one! The chewy gnocchi is the star, and gives this soup the depth in taste and texture that makes it so delicious--especially on cold winter nights.
But the greatest part about THIS gnocchi recipe is how easy it is. Everything is thrown into a single pot, and the gnocchi goes right into the soup near the end of the cooking process, so there’s no need to cook it separately. Plus, it’s a short and sweet ingredient list--most of it you probably have in your pantry already.
Quick sidebar--I love using our immersion blender to make creamier soups. However, we’ve made this recipe without using an immersion blender, and it’s still delicious--you just won’t get that luscious pureed texture that compliments the fluffy gnocchi so well. Our immersion blender wasn’t crazy expensive, you can get a similar one on Amazon for $35. It’s worth every penny!
FUN FACT = While the exact origins of the word gnocchi are debated, it’s thought to come from the Italian word nocca, meaning “knuckles”. Gnocchi has been made using a wide variety of ingredients across its long history (cornmeal, squash, breadcrumbs...weird, huh?), but is most commonly made today with potatoes--a trend that didn’t start until the 16th century when Europe was introduced to potatoes.
Yellow onion - 1.5 lb, peeled and diced
Garlic - 4 cloves, minced
Seasonings - Basil (1 tbsp or more to taste), Red Pepper Flakes (1-2 shakes or more to taste), Salt (1 tsp), Black Pepper (1 tsp)
White Wine Vinegar - 1/4 cup
Canned Diced Tomatoes - 28 ounces (we like the fire-roasted ones, which we’ve only been able to find in 14-oz cans)
Vegetable broth - 3 cups (we like a thicker soup, use 4 cups if you prefer thinner)
Optional toppings - parmesan cheese, additional basil
Add the olive oil to a large pot and heat over medium heat.
Chop the onion (doesn’t need to be finely chopped/minced). Add to the pot once the oil is heated and saute for 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for an additional 1-2 minutes. Then add the white wine vinegar.
Once the white wine vinegar has evaporated, add the basil, canned tomatoes (including their liquid), vegetable broth, salt, and pepper.
Turn up the heat so it boils, then reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove the pot from heat and use an immersion blender to blend the soup until it’s cream and the chunks are mostly gone.
Return to heat (on a medium setting) and add the gnocchi. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally--they tend to stick together, so stirring and breaking up groups of gnocchi with a spatula helps. They’ll begin to rise off the bottom of the pot when they’re done.
Serve! Add parmesan cheese (not required, but recommended), and enjoy!
SEMI-PRO TIPS (since let’s be real, I’m definitely not a “pro”):
- For anyone else trying to watch their sodium intake like I do, substitute traditional vegetable broth for a low-sodium or no-salt-added kind. Unfortunately, we have a tough time finding lower-sodium vegetable broth, but can always find lower-sodium chicken broth. We’ve used chicken broth for this recipe and it doesn’t affect the taste, but of course those going for a vegan recipe wouldn’t want to make this substitution!
- Although you can’t beat the taste of fresh garlic, we’re guilty of tossing in a tablespoon or so of pre-packaged minced garlic or garlic powder on lazy nights. Again, the fresh garlic taste can’t be topped, but just noting an optional substitute and time-saver!
If you give it a try, let me know what you think! I’m also going to try to keep my healthy soup and gnocchi spree going as we head into the new year, so I’d love for you to share your favorite soup or gnocchi recipes--shoot me a message or post them to the forum!