On a cold and cloudy day, there’s nothing quite like a bowl of hot, hearty, classic beef stew to warm you up, right? Until this beef soup, that is. See, this soup walks a line somewhere between a soup and a stew, with beef that’s cooked until it’s melt-in-your-mouth tender and pillowy gnocchi to replace the traditional potatoes. It’s hearty and comforting and full of savory flavor – kind of like a hug in a bowl.
You start by browning the beef – take care not to crowd your pot or you’ll end up with sad, gray beef. Set the browned beef aside for a bit…
… and add in some carrots and celery and plenty of onions. Let those hang out until they’re fragrant and soft…
… and add in the beef broth along with some tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, red wine, thyme, and paprika. Oh, and a bay leaf. (What would a great soup be without a bay leaf?) The beef can hop back in now too, and it simmers for a good long while until it’s fall-apart tender.
Once the beef is ready, you add in the gnocchi and let them simmer just a few minutes until they have that cloudy yet chewy texture that a perfect gnocchi does.
The broth is so deliciously rich, thanks to the Worcestershire and red wine. It never tastes heavy, but the beef and gnocchi ensure that you’re not going to be hungry anytime soon.
It’s such a deliciously satisfying soup – potato dumplings make so much sense here! Their slight chew is so good against the fall-apart beef and the velvety broth that surrounds them both.
Beef and Gnocchi Soup
2 hours to prepare serves 6
- 2 lbs beef stew meat, trimmed of any fat
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed.
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 stalk celery, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- 1 lb potato gnocchi
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Pat beef dry with paper towels and season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch Oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Brown the beef on all sides, working in batches if necessary, about 10 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
- If needed, add more oil to pot. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until soft, 6-8 minutes.
- Add garlic, thyme, paprika, and tomato paste and cook 1 minute more. Stir in wine, scraping up any stuck bits from bottom of pan.
- Add beef back to pot, along with broth, bay leaf, and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until beef and vegetables are tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Mix cornstarch into 1 cup of water and slowly stir slurry into soup. Add gnocchi and cook until gnocchi is cooked through, 3-5 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir in parsley, and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Saving Dessert.