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Comforting, filling and delicious Beef and Gnocchi Soup
This chunky soup is worthy of an entire meal, especially when served with a hunk of Artisan bread to sop up all the delicious broth!
The cool rainy days of fall have arrived here in Virginia and that means all I want is my super-ugly, 30+ year old sweater and hearty pot of this Beef and Gnocchi Soup simmering away on the stove.
Dinners like this are some of my most favorite meals of all. With vegetables, meat, chicken or fish and a rich savory broth, it’s hard to go wrong with a great soup recipe!
How to make Hearty Beef and Gnocchi Soup:
This hybrid stew-like-soup starts with a chuck roast cut into bite-sized pieces as the base. Next, add plenty of paprika, red wine, garlic, onions, carrots and celery. After simmering for about 2 hours, stir in the potato gnocchi, fresh chopped parsley and frozen peas.
That’s it! What a terrific and delicious bowl of flavor.
- chuck roast – about 3 pounds trimmed of extra fat
- salt and pepper
- vegetable oil – used for sautéing the beef and vegetables
- onions – two large sweet onions work well here
- carrots – two large carrots peeled and chopped
- celery – one large stalk
- garlic – we use plenty of fresh garlic in this recipe. You’ll need 6 medium to large cloves.
- thyme – I always have fresh thyme on hand, but dried will work well in a pinch. Use half the amount of dried to fresh in this soup.
- paprika – you’ll need 2 teaspoons Hungarian, hot, sweet or smoky paprika. We use Hungarian paprika if we have it on hand.
- tomato paste – 2 tablespoons is all you need to add a punch of flavor to this soup. Leftover canned tomato paste can be frozen in 1 tablespoon size mounds and placed in a zipper bag until needed.
- red wine – any dry red wine will do
- beef broth – I typically use low-sodium beef broth. Check the seasoning when the soup is done and adjust the amount of salt needed.
- soy sauce – always a nice addition to anything beefy. You’ll need 1 teaspoon.
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- bay leaf
- cornstarch – for thickening the broth, just a little
- prepared potato gnocchi – vacuumed sealed gnocchi works well here, but fresh or homemade are great too! If you don’t have gnocchi on hand, use diced potatoes instead. Add the potatoes with the other vegetables instead of at the end like the gnocchi.
- frozen peas
- fresh parsley – for garnish and stirring in at the end
While developing this recipe for beef and gnocchi soup, I thought about our trip to Hungary.
This recipe reminded me of our trip to Budapest Hungary last spring and about how much the Hungarians love to cook with copious amounts of paprika.
We enjoyed many good meals in Budapest and one of our favorites was those big bowls of authentic Hungarian goulash. Real Hungarian goulash is not like the goulash served here in the US. It’s more like a simple beef stew with potatoes, no carrots, and generous amounts of paprika.
Not a noodle or elbow macaroni shell could be found in their goulash, and no ground beef like the recipe I remember from my childhood. To experience the flavors of an authentic real-deal Hungarian goulash, try our recipe!
Being the foodies that we are, our first stop in Budapest was at the Great Market Hall.
If you get the chance to visit Budapest be sure to stop by the Great Market Hall for breakfast, lunch or to do a little shopping. Don’t forget to try a bowl or two of goulash while you’re there, and a few pastries too!
In addition to some delicious eats, we found great souvenirs for the family. Vendors sell everything from prepared foods to fresh meats and fish, vegetables, fruits, breads, linens, liqueurs, spices, toys, dolls and amazing works of art.
When traveling in Hungary, buy lots of paprika to bring home!
Since we traveled by train from Hungary to Austria, and then the Czech Republic, we had to carry all our belongings to each destination. We couldn’t buy a lot of bulky trinkets as space and weight were limited. I had to be able to carry all my own bags, including camera equipment.
However I managed to buy, and bring home, loads of Hungarian paprika anyway! I stored the bags of paprika in ziplock bags stuffed in my suitcase and to this day my suitcase still smells like this earthy, sweet, exotic spice we love.
What I learned from eating in Budapest is that we obviously don’t use enough paprika in our cooking.
I was inspired to push the paprika limits in this soup and while it’s well seasoned, the soup’s not overwhelmed by paprika so no worries. Everything from the beef to the gnocchi bind together for a lovely spoon full of rich meaty soup.
I use Hot Hungarian paprika which is earthy and sweet with a warm (not burning or overly hot) bite at the end. This spice is available in the United States too so check the link at the bottom for more information.
What kind of wine is best in this soup?
I’m not a wine expert but I enjoy cooking with both red and white wines. Since I’m never able to drink an entire bottle of wine before it goes bad, I started buying mini bottles of wine that come in a 4-pack. Many large wine shops carry these individual bottles.
Check your local listings and see if you have a Total Wine in town. They carry the mini Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon bottles that I use in this recipe, but any dry red wine will do. If you don’t want to open an entire bottle of red, pick up a 4-pack of red wine for about $5.99.
Finally, don’t forget the crusty bread. This unique Hearty Beef and Gnocchi Soup is pure comfort food at it’s finest!
Did I mention how terrific gnocchi is in this soup?
Soft and pillowy, the texture of these potato dumplings is perfect and they take on the flavor of the soup when cooked in the broth. If you have time, try making your own Homemade Potato Gnocchi! Homemade gnocchi is fun to make and freezes well too. Watch the video to see how to form these pillowy soft bites of heaven.
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Beef and Gnocchi Soup
- 3 pound boneless beef chuck roast trimmed of fat
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- 2 onions chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- 1 stalk celery sliced
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 teaspoons paprika hot, sweet or smoky (I used Hot Hungarian)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup red wine (like Cabernet Sauvignon)
- 4 cups beef broth low-sodium
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- 1 pound potato gnocchi or peeled diced potatoes
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves minced
- Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Remove all visible fat and any silver skin. Cut into 1-inch pieces and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy bottom soup pot until shimmering. Brown half the beef, about 10 minutes, and transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon; cover to keep warm. Brown the remaining beef cubes and remove to the bowl along with any beef juices.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the now empty Dutch oven. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook until vegetables are softened and the onions start to brown and caramelize, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme leaves, paprika and tomato paste to the vegetables. Sauté for about 30 second or until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the wine and deglaze the bottom of the pot to remove any browned bits.
- Add the cooked beef to the pot along with the beef broth. Add the bay leaf to the soup, cover and reduce the heat to medium/medium-low. Simmer the soup, stirring occasionally, until the beef and vegetables are tender, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- Mix the cornstarch and the water until dissolved. Slowly stir the slurry into the soup. Add the soy sauce, red pepper flakes and gnocchi. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the gnocchi is cooked through (check package directions for cooking time). The gnocchi will float to the top once cooked. Remove the bay leaf, stir in the peas and parsley and check the seasoning. Serve with crusty bread for sopping up the broth.
- If using potatoes instead of gnocchi, add them with the broth in step 3.
- Use fresh gnocchi or a vacuumed sealed package found in the pasta section of the store. If using frozen gnocchi, check the package for preparation directions.
- For this recipe I often use Sutter Home brand Cabernet Sauvignon wine.
Here are a few more hearty beef recipes you might enjoy:
Guinness Beef Stew Recipe – Tender chunks of beef are cooked, uncovered in a rich, thick and flavorful gravy with carrots and potatoes. This is a wonderful, hearty and flavorful stew that’s super simple to make. Click HERE to get the recipe for Guinness Beef Stew.
Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup – A family favorite for years and years. The broth is rich and tomatoey with plenty of herbs and flavor. Our recipe makes a lot of soup but it freezes beautifully. Click HERE to get the recipe for Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup.
Enjoy this rich and flavorful Hungarian Style Beef Goulash featuring super tender, slow cooked beef, potatoes, onions and a beefy broth packed with roasted red peppers, tomatoes and plenty of sweet paprika. Click HERE to get the recipe for Hungarian Style Beef Goulash.
Originally published September 2018, updated October 2020