Monday, December 5, 2011

chicken and gnocchi soup

Yummy note: I miss some of my lunch outings from the BC (before children) days. I love my Olive Garden, not to mention the bread sticks, soup, and salad lunch deals. mmm. I don't really do many lunch excursions anymore, unless it is to-go, drive-thru, or we are going to see someone I haven't seen in awhile.  I guess it saves us a bit on the pocketbook now, but if I want to go out for lunch, I am taking the two sidekicks with me, and well, that sometimes isn't the easiest. When I do go, I must be feeling the need for some adventure! So this is how this soup recipe search started as I've been hungry for this creamy, filling, gnocchi soup for awhile now. When I found this recipe for Olive Garden's chicken and gnocchi soup, I was very excited, but wasn't sure about it until I really tried it out. I've made it several times, once with butternut squash gnocchi, another with instant potato quick gnocchi, and both were equally delicious. However, I tried to play around on the half and half to make it a bit of a lighter recipe, but by doing that the creaminess just isn't there. So if that is what you really like about this soup, don't substitute. So, final words, if anyone has any tips for tackling how to eat your food before it gets cold, while managing two young kids at a restaurant, fill me in! I hope you enjoy this warm, hearty soup.

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup
Original recipe found here

1 cup cooked chicken, diced
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
1 quart half and half
14 ounces chicken broth
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup carrots, finely shredded
1 cup onion, finely diced
1 cup spinach, chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp parsley
1 lb gnocchi
salt and pepper, to taste

*yummy tips: 
Some time-saving tips for this recipe is to buy a few things already pre-made, such as: shredded carrots in a bag; rotisserie chicken or canned chicken; frozen or refrigerated gnocchi; and frozen chopped spinach. Recipe can easily be doubled and extra soup can be frozen for a quick meal later. Also, whole milk can be used instead of the half and half, but the texture isn't as silky smooth as the half and half produces.


Saute the onion, garlic, and celery in the butter and olive oil, until onion becomes translucent. Add in your flour and make like a paste or a roux. Stirring constantly, cook the mixture for about a minute and then add in your half and half, seasonings, carrots, and chicken. Let mixture begin to simmer and thicken up.

In another pot, cook your gnocchi according to package directions or prepare your homemade gnocchi (I used my squash gnocchi recipe before and it turned out delicious as well). Note, if preparing homemade gnocchi for this dish, I would do that before so you don't have to worry about it at the same time as preparing your soup. As the soup mixture gets thicker, maybe a few minutes of simmering, add in your chicken broth, and let it reduce a few minutes again. Once the gnocchi is ready, add it to the simmering soup, along with your spinach.

Cook for a few additional minutes or until the spinach starts to wilt. Serve with a little parmesan cheese on top if you wish.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, just dropped by to let you know that this is the recipe I chose for Secret Recipe Club this month. You can see my post here.
    We liked it a lot, and I will be making it often. Thank for sharing.