Gnocchi, Fennel & Sausage Soup 


(Vegetarian and Vegan Adaptable)

This soup has a little bit of everything I crave during the Winter months in one cozy delicious pot: hearty chewy potato gnocchi, warm flavorful fennel, turkey or veggie sausage, flavorful roasted tomatoes, and my go-to secret ingredients that make soups and sauces extra rich and flavorful-parmesan rind and wine to cook off in the soup as it boils leaving the most amazing depth of flavor behind! This soup is light and hearty at the same time, loaded with so many veggies, textures, and big flavors it leaves you feeling good and satisfied without weighing you down. Its also super adaptable for different diets. Want a vegetarian version? Swap out the Turkey sausage for vegetarian sausage or crumbled tofu. Want this vegan? Omit the optional parmesan wedge, grated parmesan, and pesto additions and/or swap with vegan park and pesto. I’ve made this all three ways and it’s delicious no matter what! I love toasting fresh slices of ciabatta bread and smearing them with roasted garlic or a flavorful basil pesto to serve with this soup to round things out with a little extra cozy deliciousness.  

Makes: Approximately 8 Servings

Active Prep/Cook Time: 20 minutes

Inactive Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil for pot
  • 1/2 pound turkey or veggie sausage,  sliced or broken into chunks
  • 1 small onion, diced 
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 bulb fennel, core removed and sliced
  • 2 cup sliced mushrooms, chopped in 1/2
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme 
  • 1 can white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2-3 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • Few grinds of fresh black pepper 
  • 2/3 cup white wine (Can use red wine as well if that’s what you have on hand-just make sure whatever wine you use is also good for drinking.)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste 
  • 1 14 ounce cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups veggie broth
  • 1 slice of parmesan rind, optional, to throw in soup while cooking for added depth of flavor
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh uncooked gnocchi
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, torn or chopped, tough stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh pesto

Optional Garnishes:

  • Fresh torn basil 
  • Fresh grated parmesan 

Instructions:

Add olive oil to a large soup pot, swirling a couple times around tree pan and heat on medium.

When pan is hot, add turkey or veggie sausage and cook a few minutes to brown on both sides.

Scoot sausage to the side of the pot farthest from the heat and add diced onions to the center, tossing to coat in oil and spreading out as evenly as possible. Add a drizzle more oil if necessary and lower heat a touch if pot seems to hot to prevent onions from burning, and stir frequently. When onions are sweating and turning translucent, scoot over to the edge of the pan with the sausage and add sliced fennel and sliced bell peppers to the center of the pot, adding a drizzle more oil if pot seems to dry and hot. Stir occasionally for a few minutes h til veggies appear slightly softened. (They don’t have to cook all the way through at this point since they will continue to cook in the soup.)

Scoot to the side and add mushrooms to the pot. Cook a few minutes to brown and soften.

Stir all of the pot ingredients together and add minced garlic, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme. Combine and cook a minute or 2 then stir in tomato paste and cannellini beans until we’ll combined. When the mixture is hot, add in wine to deglaze the pan and simmer until wine is reduced by half. Stir in diced tomatoes, veggie broth, and parmesan rind, if using, and turn heat up slightly to bring to boil.

Once mixture comes to boil, turn heat down slightly to medium to simmer at a low boil approximately 20 minutes. Drop in gnocchi and continue cooking a couple of minutes until gnocchi floats to the top-that’s their cue that they are done. Add in fresh pesto, if using, then add fresh spinach, stir and let cook another minute to wilt, then remove from heat.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh basil and fresh grated parmesan if using. Slather slices of fresh toasted ciabatta with more pesto to serve along with the soup for extra cozy deliciousness. 

Recipe Notes:

This soup hold up well in the freezer if you’d like to make ahead to have on hand.

For vegan version you can omit the parmesan rind, grated parmesan and pesto, or use your favorite non-dairy substitutes.


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