Creamy Gnocchi and Onion Soup with Mushrooms and Pancetta

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Soup is definitely one of my favorite dinners this time of year. While it definitely can be on the healthier side, it's one of my favorites especially during the week because it can also be so satisfying! Pretty much whenever I make a soup for dinner we end up saying afterwards that it was way better than we were expecting, and sometimes even our favorite dinner that week.

Bring on the satisfying soups!

That being said, kind of like with salads, in my opinion the best soups are full of a little bit of everything, which makes them extra satisfying, like this creamy gnocchi and onion soup with mushrooms and pancetta. This packed soup is perfect for a dinner recipe, as it's full of nourshing and delicious ingredients that will be sure to warm and fill you right up!

Sauteed mushrooms

What do you start with for this soup?

You'll start off by crisping up the pancetta in a large dutch oven. Pancetta is one of my favorite meats as just a small amount adds so much delicious flavor. If you can find it in the grocery store, I like to buy it in the small pre-diced package. While it may not look like a lot going into the pot, just a little adds so much flavor. Once it's nice and crisped up, you can remove it from the pot and set it aside for later.

On to the onions! Onion soup is by far one of my favorite soups, especially in the winter. The thing with onion soup is that I usually like to either have it as an appetizer, or on the side alongside something else like a salad. This take on an onion soup can really stand on it's own, as it has the classic caramelized onions, but lots of other ingredients as well. For the onions you'll grab-

  • onions, thinly sliced - of course!
  • butter
  • sugar - helps the onions caramelize nicely
  • salt and pepper

Add the above to the dutch oven with 1 tablespoon of remaining grease from the pancetta, and saute those onions over medium low heat until they are perfectly soft and caramelized.

White onion soup

Which ingredients go in next?

Once the onions are caramelized, it's time to add in a few more ingredients for extra flavor, followed by the chicken broth, then my personal favorite thing to add into any soup- Worcestershire sauce! Grab the below to make for the most flavorful and rich onion soup-

  • garlic
  • crushed red pepper
  • thyme - probably my favorite fresh herb to pair with any onion recipe
  • sherry - add this in after the above and let it reduce to add extra richness
  • chicken broth
  • Worcestershire - my favorite addition to any soup to add that perfect umami flavor

Once the chicken broth and Worcestershire have been added, bring the soup to a boil and simmer for roughly 10 minutes. I know that this step can seem pointless, but simmering a soup even for just 10 minutes can really help meld and deepen all the flavors.

White onion soup with gnocchi

Where do the mushrooms come in?

While the soup is simmering, it's the perfect time to sauté up the mushrooms. If you're anything like me, and you didn't used to love mushrooms, I've learned over the years that cooking them the right way is really key! In my opinion, there's nothing worse than a, dare I say, *flubby* mushroom, so sauteeing them before you add them into the soup ensures they'll be the perfect texture.

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. One tip our mom taught me a while ago was that when you add mushrooms into a sauté pan, it's important to let them sit for about 3-4 minutes before stirring them. While this may seem counterintuitive, mushrooms release water when cooked so by not stirring them, it allows them to become golden without becoming, well, flubby. Once golden on one side, stir and continue cooking until softened and golden on all sides, then set aside.

Gnocchi and onion soup with gruyere toasts

Once the soup has simmered, and the mushrooms have been sauted, it's time to grab the rest of the ingredients and finish this soup up. In addition to the onions and mushrooms, the gnocchi and kale are what make this soup perfect for a satisfying and filling dinner recipe. To finish up this 1 hour soup the remaining 3 ingredients are-

  1. gnocchi - perfectly filling starch that will also thicken the soup up as they cook
  2. whole milk - by adding just a cup, this soup gets a little richness while also staying light
  3. kale - my favorite green to add into a soup, as it still softens once it cooks but is thick enough to hold it's shape in the soup

Once these ingredients have been added to the soup, along with the reserved mushrooms, bring it to a boil and simmer until the gnocchi are cooked and float to the top. Make sure to occasionally stir as the gnocchi do thicken the soup up and you'll want to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the dutch oven.

Creamy onion soup with gruyere toasts

Now for maybe the most satisfying part!

In every dinner soup I always love to have a perfectly toasted piece of bread to dip into the soup. While classic onion soups usually have bread directly in the soup covered with melted cheese, because this soup is already full of other delicious and hearty ingredients, a perfectly toasted piece of bread, with a little bit of cheese, is ideal for dipping into this soup.

Of breads and cheeses, sourdough and gruyere might be superior, so you'll want to grab those delicious ingredients. Then it's as easy as topping each piece of sourdough with about 1/8 cup of shredded gruyere, and popping each toast in the toaster oven (or under the broiler in the oven if you'd prefer) until the bread is perfectly golden and the gruyere is melted. Trust me, dunking these toasts into the soup really makes it next level.

Gruyere toast dunking into onion soup

Once the gnocchi are cooked, spoon the soup into 4 bowls, top with the reserved pancetta and some additional thyme, and dunk the gruyere toasts into this hearty and delicious winter onion soup with mushrooms.

Recipe Details:

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Creamy Gnocchi and Onion Soup with Mushrooms and Pancetta

This warm, satisfying, and perfectly light onion soup with mushrooms is full of hearty ingredients, including gnocchi and kale, sprinkled with crisp pancetta, and served best with cheesy gruyere toasts.

Author:
Jackie

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces pancetta
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • crushed red pepper, sprinkle
  • 4 tbsp thyme, fresh, plus additional for serving
  • 4 ounces sherry
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 10 ounces gnocchi
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 4 pieces of sourdough bread, sliced
  • 1/2 cup gruyere, shredded

Instructions

  1. In a large dutch oven, brown pancetta over medium low heat until crisp. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. If there's more than 1 tablespoon of grease in the pot discard the rest.
  2. Add onions, butter, sugar, kosher salt, and black pepper. Stir frequenlty over medium low heat until onions are caramelized, 20-25 minutes.
  3. Once caramelized, add in garlic, crushed red pepper, and thyme, sautéing for 1 minute until fragrant. Increase the heat to medium, add in sherry, and simmer until reduced by half, 2-3 minutes. Add in chicken broth and Worcestershire, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, leave for 3-4 minutes until they're golden, then stir and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes until softened.
  5. Add gnocchi, milk, kale, and reserved mushrooms to soup, bring to a boil, and simmer for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until gnocchi are cooked and float to the top. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Meanwhile, add 1/8 cup gruyere to each piece of sourdough and toast until bread is golden and cheese is melted.
  7. Serve immediately topped with reserved pancetta and additional thyme, and with gruyere toasts.

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