Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Italian Vegetable and Gnocchi Soup

It has been a while since I have posted a recipe, but I have made this one so many times, I feel it is worth hitting publish, for sure.  A while back, my family started to participate with Meatless Mondays; Now, I just hope to have at least one meatless meal on any day of the week for both the health benefits as well as the environmental benefits.  (I am in my second year of teaching Environmental Science and I have learned how much reducing meat consumption can help reduce our carbon footprint.)  I enjoy a variety of protein sources too much to envision myself ever being a vegetarian, but I have also learned never to say never. 

This recipe has been one of my meatless favorites - I have probably made it twenty times at this point, and it never disappoints.  A hearty bowl of soup (and sometimes fresh bread on the side) is always a comfort to me, especially on the chilly  days we have been having lately.  It isn't difficult or time consuming to make, and the fact that there is always enough for a second meal (or at least lunches) is a bonus!


  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup chopped basil leaves, plus additional for serving if desired
  • 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pinches red pepper flakes
  • 32 oz vegetable broth
  • 3 x 15-ounce cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 ½ cups frozen (or fresh) cut green beans
  • 1 pound gnocchi 
  • 4 to 6 cups spinach leaves
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
  1. Chop the onion and mince the garlic cloves. Chop the basil. Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and basil for 1 minute.   
  3. Add the chickpeas, red pepper flakes, broth, all three cans of tomatoes and their juices, kosher salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the green beans, then simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Break apart any clumps in the gnocchi, then add them to the pot and cook for 5 minutes until tender. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach until wilted, about 1 minute.
  5. To serve, ladle soup into bowl and top with Parmesan and basil leaves if desired. Allow to cool slightly before diving in!

Difficulty: easy

Time: about 30 minutes


Sunday, March 21, 2021

Veggie Fried Ramen

Eleven Mondays in and we are still on track with our household's 2021 #MeatlessMonday resolution.  And we are unexpectedly enjoying it!  This is a recipe that I have made a few times now that could easily be modified with some different protein sources if you want to add meat (chicken and shrimp would work great).  My kids are totally into Ramen at the moment - a college staple for me back in the day - but I am insistent on adding some nutritional value.  The veggies and eggs in this do the trick, and I leave out the packed seasoning in favor of some sesame oil and soy sauce to provide additional flavor.  Everyone is happy when this meatless dish pops up in the rotation!


  • 2 green onions (I have omitted this ingredient and it turned out fine!)
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 colorful peppers, diced
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 6 eggs
  • 3-4 packages Ramen
  • canola oil
  • sesame oil
  • soy sauce
  1. Scramble eggs and cook in hot canola oil.  Move to a serving bowl.
  2. In the same pan, heat additional canola oil and cook green onions, carrots and peppers.  Add peas after a few minutes and cook until all veggies are tender and hot.  Move to the serving bowl with the eggs.
  3. Meanwhile, cook Ramen for 2 minutes in boiling water.  Drain.
  4. Move the Ramen to the same pan that was used to cook the veggies, add some sesame oil and stir fry for a minute.  Add soy sauce to taste.  Transfer to the serving bowl; stir all ingredients together.

Difficulty: easy
Time: 20 minutes, total
Source: Modifications of several stir fry recipes