Winter put on a new layer of make-up. A 2-3 inch layer of fresh snow, and the world looks like primetime again. The rest of the week will be arctic cold, winter is back, a light version at least. Last week Isa’s new cookbook arrived in my mail and yesterday I read through the recipes. The soups alone are worth it. The pesto gnocchi soup immediately captured my attention. A creamy soup made with pureed cauliflower and basil leaves to give it a spring green, and with gnocchi, Swiss chard and beans. --- I made it with frozen basil and I think it is better to make it with fresh, which makes the soup look much brighter. My soup is more on a muddy winter color. Otherwise, I am sure I’ll make it again.
Pesto Gnocchi Soup (my version)
Makes 3 servings
- 1 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 0.5 regular sized head cauliflower, leaves removed, cut into florettes
- 4 cups vegetable broth, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Fresh black pepper
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 cubes frozen basil or a cup fresh basil
- ca 10 frozen gnocchi, partially thawed (to separate them)
- 0.5 cups chickpeas, cooked
- 0.5 cup frozen edamame
- 2 large swiss chard, stems discarded, leaves thinly sliced
- optional: fresh grated parmesan, sliced almonds
Preheat a medium sized pot over medium heat. Saute garlic in olive oil for about a minute, being careful not to let it burn. Add cauliflower, 3 cups of broth (only 3 of the cups! the last cup is added in a bit), salt, thyme and several dashes fresh black pepper. Cover pot and bring to a boil, stirring every now and again for about 10 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender.
Mix the final cup of broth and the cornstarch until dissolved. Lower heat a bit so that the soup is at a slow boil. Mix in the broth/arrowroot and cook uncovered for another 5 minutes until slightly thickened. stirring often. Add the basil leaves, and remove from heat (don’t cook the leaves!). Use a submersion blender to puree until smooth*. Adjust for salt.
Return soup to the stove over medium heat and add the gnocchi, chichpeas and frozen edamame. Cover and let cook for 3 minutes . Add the Swiss chard cook until greens are completely wilted (1-2 minutes). Be careful as you stir not to crush the gnocchi or beans. Serve with parmesan and sliced almonds.