Oh my. You know when you make something at home and you are not expecting it to blow your mind, and then it totally does? Well yeah. That. This recipe is exactly that.
I had spotted the most unbelievable looking pot of gnocchi soup on The Barcelona Food Experience's Instagram story and become obsessed. Their version was a broth, gnocchi, truffle and an egg, all smothered in melted cheese. I took a screen shot and then kept coming back to it over and over again! Okay, I thought. Let's see how good I can make this recipe, but without the truffle and cheese.
So I went searching for gnocchi soup recipes. The vast majority of gnocchi soup recipes are made with chicken. But I didn't want to make this a meaty dish, instead keeping a bit closer to the photo that inspired the whole search.
Eventually I stumbled across this recipe on A Couple Of Cooks website. Perfect - vegetarian and lots of ingredients I already have or can pick up easily on the way home. I'm sold!
As usual I did some tweaking at home. I am still trying to figure out how I managed to get this tasting so buttery and creamy, without any dairy. I think it may be cooking the onions and garlic at the start in coconut oil, rather than olive oil, so I would strongly recommend you do the same if you've got coconut oil to hand. I've read people recommending adding coconut oil to porridge to make it creamier, so maybe it's the same principle?
Oh and I included a poached egg, also not in the original recipe. Of course you can have it without to make the dish vegan. It might feel a bit extravagant, but I think it's perfect for adding even more creamy richness. Who says you can only have eggs for breakfast...
As well as the perfect winter warmer at home I found this worked really well as a packed lunch too, heated up in the microwaves at work. Just make sure your tupperware has a really tight sealing lid and keep it upright in transit!
SERVES: 2 mega generous portions, or 4 small ones
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 25 minutes
350g gluten free gnocchi (I used Amisa from Planet Organic)
200g canned chickpeas, drained
500ml yeast free vegetable stock (homemade, or I used Kallo)
1 white onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
225g green beans - ends trimmed and cut in half
3 ripe tomatoes, cut into 4 or 6 pieces
1 tbsp Italian Herb mix
30 leaves of fresh basil
150g fresh spinach
Eggs, 1 per portion
2 tbsp coconut oil, for frying
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large pot, heat the coconut oil over medium high heat. Saute the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, herb mix and fresh basil for 1 minute.
2. Add the chickpeas, vegetable stock, tomatoes and their juices, 1 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add the green beans, then simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Whist your veg is simmering, pop a separate pan of water on the heat ready to poach your egg, bringing the water almost to the boil.
4. After 15 minutes, add the gnocchi to the veg pot and cook for 5 minutes until tender. I found the Amisa gnocchi turned soft very quickly so keep an eye on them so they don't disintegrate. This is also the moment to swirl your water and drop your egg in the poaching pan - multitasking brains at the ready people!
5. After 5 minutes and when your gnocchi is cooked, turn off the heat on the veggie soup and stir in the spinach until wilted, should take no more than 1 minute. Rescue your poached egg using a slotted spoon once it's cooked to your taste, but I love a runny yolk which takes less than 3 minutes,
6. To serve, ladle the soup into bowl and top with the poached egg and more basil leaves if desired (I honestly don't think you can have too much). Allow to cool before diving in.
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