By Celene Ann
If you have ever been to Olive Garden, you know there soups are quite delicious. I happened up their Chicken Gnocchi Soup while I was pregnant with my second child. I had never tried their soups before, and wasn’t much of a fan of ordering soups from restaurants. Somehow I was charmed into trying it, completely based off my mom’s urging for me to eat something besides donuts.
I have to admit, I am tickled pink she did. The soup is light, it’s hearty from the gnocchi and flavorful as well. My version is slightly different than the original with a few different ingredients and a choice to add some heavy cream to give some richness. I opted to spice it up with two packages, one flavored and one not. It’s impactful and perfect for these wintery Midwestern days when the temperatures are minus 30 with the wind chill.
It feeds a plentiful amount of people, which is great for entertaining, or if you want to treat yourself with a well stocked freezer of premade soups to warm on the stove anytime you like. This is a favorite in my family.
Chicken Gnocchi Soup
2 lbs- chicken breasts, cooked
16 oz- plain gnocchi
16 oz- basil gnocchi
4- peeled carrots, diced into rounds
3 to 4- cloves of garlic, minced
1 pkg- baby spinach
¼ cup- flour
¼ cup- grated Parmesan
4 Tbsp- butter
1 Tbsp- olive oil
1 cup- milk
1 cup- heavy cream
6 cups- chicken stock
Handful of Mrs. Dash garlic and herb seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Prep your chicken. I opted to roast my chicken breasts in the oven at 400 F for about 30-35 minutes. The internal temperature should reach 165. I seasoned the chicken with a bit of salt and pepper, olive oil and garlic and herb seasoning. You can add any seasonings you would like.
While the chicken is roasting, prepare a big pot with the butter and olive oil. Dice up your carrots and garlic. Add them into the butter and oil mixture and let cook for about 2 minutes. Slowly add in your flour, constantly stirring it. Cook for another two minutes.
Slowly add your chicken stock to the mixture, stirring as you do so. I found that room temperature chicken stock worked best. Let the mixture come to a simmer, and allow to thicken. This took about 10-15 minutes. Add salt and pepper, some garlic and herb seasoning as well.
Once the soup starts to thicken add in your milk and cream. Let that simmer and thicken as well, stirring occasionally. Add the grated Parmesan.
Once the soup starts to thicken I like to add in my packages of gnocchi to the soup. I don’t cook them in a separate pan. The gnocchi soaks up the goodness of the soup and becomes more flavorful.
Once the chicken is cooked, diced it up and add to the soup. Add in your baby spinach, mix into the soup and let it wilt down. Serve immediately with some thick slices of bread.