Can I just say that I have the best friends and family out there? I posted that I was struggling to find the desire to create, whether it is art, photography, or food. I was just feeling so incredibly uninspired in all the things. Honestly, it was probably just lack of energy all around. I had multiple friends and family send me recipes they like or ask me to work on a project for them to help get the creative juices flowing. The original recipe for this yummy soup was sent to me by my lovely cousin, Callen!
This recipe is fairly easy to put together and is so worth it! The seasonings, tomatoes, and fresh ingredients are the perfect combination that warms your soul. There is very little guilt with this meal (unless you serve garlic bread with it like I did... then there is a little baby bit). But I mean baby spinach counteracts the "unhealthy" parts of garlic bread though right? And there are many health benefits of eating garlic, right? I still call it healthy! I mean, look at all the green!
Cutting up the veggies is the longest step. If you are making this for a week night, maybe pre-cut these or buy them previously cut. Otherwise, it only took me like an extra 15 minutes to cut it all. No judgement, I get it. Some days I really don't feel like peeling my own carrots. Seriously, don't be hard on yourself. You do you, boo. The end result is the same.
So I did a little research to find out how gnocchi came about. I mean pasta is already great, but adding potatoes to make a dumpling? Genius. I honestly couldn't find very many "legitimate" sources, so here is what I found out from Wikipedia (don't @ me).
The word gnocchi may be derived from the Italian word nocchio, meaning a knot in wood, or from nocca, meaning knuckle. It has been a traditional type of Italian pasta since Roman times. It was introduced by the Roman legions during the expansion of the empire into the countries of the European continent. In Roman times, gnocchi were made from a semolina porridge-like dough mixed with eggs, and are still found in similar forms today, particularly the oven-baked gnocchi alla romana and Sardinia's malloreddus which do not contain eggs. The use of potato is a relatively recent innovation, occurring after the introduction of the potato to Europe in the 16th century. Potato gnocchi are particularly popular in Abruzzo, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto, and Lazio. As with other mashed potato dishes they are best prepared with starchy potatoes to keep a light texture."
Basically, Italians are masters of delicious foods. Mitchell, if you are reading this, let's tour Italy! I'll pack my stretchy pants!
I have one little tip for making this soup! The original recipe says to mix in all of the spinach at the end of cooking the soup. Textures sometimes bother me, and slimy spinach is definitely a trigger for me! SO, instead of mixing it all in the whole batch of soup, I suggest to mix in what you want to eat in your soup bowl. This will stop the spinach from becoming complete mush and makes the consistency of the leftover soup much better.
Gnocchi and Sausage Soup
1 lb ground Italian sausage
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 large diced onion
2 medium zucchini (about 2 cups sliced and quartered)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 14.5 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes (do not drain)
1 14.5 oz can chicken broth
3½ cups water
1 tbsp Better Than Bouillon (roasted chicken)
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 16 oz package of gnocchi
3-4 heaping cups of fresh baby spinach
1/2 tsp salt & pepper
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat over medium-high heat. Add sausage and break apart with spatula then add in carrots and onions season with salt and pepper. Cook until sausage is cooked and vegetables are softened.
Add in zucchini and garlic and cook for a few more minutes.
Add in water, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, Better Than Bouillon, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add gnocchi. Cook until they float to the top, or about as long as it says on the package.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
In your dinner bowl, stir in a handful of fresh baby spinach. Sprinkle with fresh parmesan if desired, serve hot, and enjoy!