Italian Vegetable & Gnocchi Soup

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Italian Vegetable and Gnocchi Soup | A Couple Cooks

Italian Vegetable and Gnocchi Soup | A Couple Cooks

Italian Vegetable and Gnocchi Soup | A Couple Cooks

Italian Vegetable and Gnocchi Soup | Vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free

Let’s be honest: for many of us, cooking at home requires a complete lifestyle change. Alex and I like to talk about how simple cooking at home is — and it is, truly. A few basic skills like chopping an onion and mincing garlic can go a long way. But for those of us who didn’t grow up cooking (like me!), the hardest part is the lifestyle change — the realization that nourishing food doesn’t just jump onto your plate. You have to get it there. You have to make the time to find it, store it, and cook it. You have to get creative with recipes and find out what tastes good to you and your family. You, and only you, must make the time to orient your life around cooking fresh food.

Alex and I learned this the hard way, with years of over-processed and under-delicious foods. We’ve done the fast food Chalupa thing, the frozen cheesy pocket pastry thing, and the cereal for dinner thing. So you might be surprised to see me now, making this soup.

It’s become so familiar, the act of making soup; almost like a dance. Dicing the onion and mincing the garlic now takes me minutes, an activity which once would have taken me half the night (plus I would have avoided it altogether because really, who wants to wash a cutting board and knife?). Sautéing the onion, then throwing in the garlic and fresh basil for just a moment fills the kitchen with a smell reminiscent of an Italian pizza kitchen. The pot sizzles when I pour in the broth and add the tomatoes and veggies, and then it cheerfully bubbles at simmer until it smells too good not to taste, when I stir in the spinach and it turns a lovely, bright green color. And the flavor? Homey, comforting, and heart-meltingly good. It’s taken years, but this is what keeps us going. The fact that in just over 30 minutes we can create something that nourishes our bodies, satisfies our palates, and brings us closer to the people we love is ultimately one of the more rewarding things I’ve ever learned.

We created this soup recipe, which is our trick for the most delicious way to eat loads of fresh, nutritious veggies, for Sub-Zero and their Fresh Food Matters initiative. It’s a movement that we wish we thought of ourselves, because it is so much of the heart behind what we do, too. I love this quote from Sub-Zero: “We believe that fresh food can make a positive difference in your life. Fresh Food Matters is about inspiring people to think about their own relationship with fresh food and learn how they can incorporate it into every day.” Fist bump to that!

Even better, Sub-Zero is partnering with Katie Stagliano of Katie’s Krops, a 17-year-old who started a non-profit to end hunger by growing fresh food. We chatted with her a few days ago, and this girl is amazing! If you share on social media why Fresh Food Matters in your own life using the hasthag #FreshFoodMatters between now and the end of July, Sub-Zero will donate $5 for every hashtag to Katie’s Krops, up to $25,000. That’s enough to start 25 more gardens growing fresh food for those who otherwise don’t have access to it! Which is pretty sweet, if you ask us. Will you join us and share?

Wondering why we happened to chat with Katie? We’ll be speaking with Katie on the next installment of the A Couple Cooks podcast, to release May 10! Stay tuned. More about the Fresh Food Matters campaign is at FreshFoodMatters.com, including interviews with 13 notable experts who share the impact food has in their lives, in addition to some practical tips for how to purchase and store fresh food from season to season.

Notes: This soup is naturally so flavorful you can stay vegan / dairy-free by choosing to omit Parmesan cheese, and it still tastes great! The soup can be made in about 30 minutes, which makes it perfect for an easy weeknight meal. 

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Italian Vegetable and Gnocchi Soup


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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 4 to 6

Description

*Note: Use fire roasted tomatoes if at all possible; avoid “no salt added” varieties. With the fresh basil, the soup is very flavorful and doesn’t require the addition of cheese, but feel free to add if desired.


Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup chopped basil leaves, plus additional for serving if desired
  • 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pinches red pepper flakes
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 28-ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes*
  • 15-ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen (or fresh) cut green beans
  • 1 pound gnocchi
  • 4 to 6 cups spinach leaves
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)*

Instructions

  1. Chop the onion and mince the garlic cloves. Chop ½ cup basil; if you have more, slice it thinly and reserve for a garnish. Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
  2. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Saute the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and basil for 1 minute. Add the chickpeas, red pepper flakes, broth, tomatoes and their juices, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the green beans, then simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Break apart any clumps in the gnocchi, then add them to the pot and cook for 5 minutes until tender. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach until wilted, about 1 minute.
  4. To serve, ladle soup into bowl and top with Parmesan and basil leaves if desired. Allow to cool slightly before diving in!

 

Italian Vegetable & Gnocchi Soup

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.

25 Comments

  • Reply
    Fernando @ Eating With Your Hands
    April 25, 2016 at 9:19 am

    So true. Patience, and actually having the time, are two factors that really need to be in everyone’s life, ESPECIALLY if you want to make food that’s good for you. I think you help a lot of people out with these kinds of recipes. People need to see how easy (and delsih) it actually can be.

  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    April 25, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Oh my goodness, Sonja, you’ve said this perfectly! This secret that we have to orient our life around cooking fresh food in order to enjoy fresh food. That it doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming but that it does require a willingness to tweak our lifestyle. Such a big part of the work I do with clients – helping them find the right ways to fit meal planning and food prep into their new lifestyle. Thanks for your uplifting words and an amazing recipe I’d like to be eating right now!

  • Reply
    Allyson
    April 25, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Whenever I have friends who are intimidated by cooking, I just remind them that it’s a skill like any other. The more you practice it, the better you get. And it’s such a worthwhile skill to learn- you get to feed yourself food that makes you feel good and tastes better than any cereal for dinner can.

  • Reply
    Hollie
    April 25, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    This was really good! Perfect comfort food for me to make on my off day. Also, I don’t know if it was the brand of tomatoes that I bought or if I added more pepper than I thought, but the soup had a natural spice to it. I didn’t even need to add the red pepper flakes! I also subbed kale for spinach as that’s what I add laying around the house.

  • Reply
    Kari
    April 25, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    I love gnocchi! Yum! This looks so delicious!
    Kari
    http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

  • Reply
    Erica
    April 25, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    You guys always inspire me! I’ve been working on the daily fresh food over here despite the hospital hours – so far so good and reading this post keeps me motivated :)
    So excited to listen to the next podcast! I went on that lady’s site and she sounds so incredible!!

  • Reply
    Aaryn
    April 26, 2016 at 5:59 am

    We made this soup for dinner last night and it was delicious! Everyone gobbled it up! I used fresh gnocchi because that’s what I could find at my store. We all enjoy soups at our house and the gnocchi made this one really special!

  • Reply
    Fin
    May 27, 2016 at 4:08 am

    This looks delicious! It’s difficult to get hold of fire-roasted tinned tomatoes here in the UK. Is there an ingredient I can throw in with normal tinned tomatoes to create the same effect?

    • Reply
      Sonja
      May 29, 2016 at 12:09 pm

      Great question! I would say to find the BEST quality tinned tomatoes you can, and use those. It’s possible you may need to cook the soup a bit longer to develop the flavor; just taste it and cook a bit longer if necessary. Let us know how it goes!

      • Reply
        Fin
        June 9, 2016 at 3:04 am

        I used non-fire-roasted tinned tomatoes and cooked the soup for about 25 minutes before adding the gnocchi. I can confirm that it was a real success! Really hearty and flavoursome – this is definitely going on the regular weeknight meals list.

  • Reply
    Annie
    June 5, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    I’m just making this soup now, and I have a question/suggestion about the recipe. In the ingredients list, red pepper flakes are included and then they aren’t anywhere in the directions. Where are we supposed to add these? Also, it’s really helpful if recipe ingredients are listed in the order that you use them, that way if you do happen to forget to mention where to use the ingredient, it’s easy to know where it’s supposed to be added. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      June 6, 2016 at 8:54 am

      Hi Annie! Good catch — the red pepper flakes were inadvertently omitted in the steps; we’ve corrected this now! And yes, the ingredients are always written in the order in which they are used. Thanks for the note!

  • Reply
    Natalie
    November 9, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    I’m generally not a soup fan, but this is delicious! I’m sure it will be on regular rotation this winter. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Julia Samersova
    January 13, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    This soup was OUTRAGEOUSLY delicious!!!!!!!!! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      January 14, 2017 at 9:10 pm

      So, so glad you enjoyed this! Thank you for mentioning!

  • Reply
    Tina C
    January 17, 2017 at 6:42 am

    This soup is now an entrenched family favorite….we are glad we discovered the fire-roasted tomatoes….

    • Reply
      Sonja
      January 18, 2017 at 9:36 pm

      So so glad to hear this! Thanks for letting us know!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    January 18, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    This looks delicious, but I’m confused. Do I use 15 oz or 28 oz of fire roasted tomatoes?

    • Reply
      Sonja
      January 18, 2017 at 9:36 pm

      Use one can of each!

      • Reply
        Sabina
        January 20, 2017 at 8:48 am

        Hi Sonja,

        If we cannot get hold of fire-roasted tomatoes, do we use 43 oz (15 oz + 28 oz) of regular canned tomatoes instead ?

        • Reply
          Sonja
          January 21, 2017 at 9:55 pm

          Sabina – Yes, you can use standard tomatoes; try to use the highest quality tomatoes you can find since they carry the flavor here!

  • Reply
    Claire @ TallGirlBigWorld
    February 6, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    I made this for my lunches this week and am loving this soup!! (eating it as I type this actually). It has the slightest kick of spice, which I like :)

    -Claire
    tallgirlbigworld.com

  • Reply
    Agness of Run Agness Run
    April 15, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Great soup, Sonja and Alex! Keep up the great work, your recipes are amazing!

  • Reply
    Angela
    March 14, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    This soup is outstanding: easy, quick, and healthy. It was so great and comforting as leftovers at work too.

    • Reply
      Sonja
      March 14, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      Thank you so much! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for letting us know!

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