There is a recipe that has been circling the twitterverse lately that was just too tasty sounding to pass up: pesto gnocchi soup with chard.
The recipe is from Isa Chandra, posted on The Guardian website. You can also find it in the Isa Does It cookbook (one of my favorite vegan cookbooks at the moment).
Instead of regular chard, I used baby rainbow chard and some baby spinach. I also didn’t use any beans or pine nuts, as I’m not a huge fan of them on their own. Instead, I used some of my cashew “parmesan” as a topper to give it a bit of nuttiness.
All in all the recipe is really simple and easy to make, not to mention super healthy – perfect for a chilly midweek meal. It was so good that Andrew and I were practically licking the pot clean. So I guess the only thing I wish I had changed was doubling the recipe so we had leftovers!
Ingredients (adapted from the original)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small head cauliflower (about 450g), trimmed and cut into florets
- 1.25l vegetable stock
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp salt
- Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp arrowroot or organic cornstarch
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
- 225g frozen gnocchi, partially thawed (leave on the counter for 30 minutes or so)
- 1 small bunch baby rainbow chard, stems discarded, leaves torn into bite–size pieces
- 1 small bunch baby spinach
- Cashew “parmesan” for garnish (optional)
Preheat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the oil. Saute the garlic in the oil for about 1 minute, taking care not to let it burn. Add the cauliflower, 1 liter of the stock, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cover the pot and bring to a boil, stirring every now and again and boiling for about 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.
In a measuring cup, vigorously mix together the remaining 1 cup of stock and the arrowroot until dissolved. Lower the heat a bit so that the soup is at a low boil. Mix in the broth and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes, stirring often, until slightly thickened. Add the basil leaves and remove from the heat. Use a hand blender to puree until smooth. If you don’t have a hand blender, then use a blender or food processor to puree in batches, being careful to lift the lid once in a while to let steam escape. Taste for seasoning.
Return the soup to the stove over a medium heat and add the gnocchi; cover and let it cook for 3 minutes or so. Add the greens and beans and cook until they are completely wilted and the beans are heated through, about 5 more minutes. Be careful as you stir not to crush the gnocchi or beans. Serve garnished with extra basil and pine nuts, if you like.