try this: chicken and gnocci soup

You’ve all been to Olive Garden, right? Have you ever tried their Chicken and Gnocchi Soup? If you haven’t you need to drop everything and go try it, it’s delicious.

Well, after a visit there a year or so ago, I decided that I was going to duplicate this soup, but being that I’m not much for tasting something and recreating it, I consulted my old friend, the Food Network website. But this was the only recipe that I could find. And it’s not even close to the same – the one at Olive Garden is a rich, creamy soup and the Food Network one is broth-y. It’s delicious, but not the same.

But a week or so ago the craving HIT ME like a ton of bricks and in a desperate attempt to fulfill this craving, I googled the recipe. {I’m sure you’re wondering why we didn’t just go to Olive Garden, that’s because the closest one is like 40 minutes away, and also, it’s cheaper to make stuff at home.}

Friends, have you ever heard of CopyKat Recipes? Well this genius of a woman re-creates restaurant favorites. And guess what soup is on her list. That’s right! Chicken and Gnocchi Soup!

Here it is: Yield: 8 servings.

Ingredients:
1 cup chicken breasts, cooked and diced (you can use a rotisserie chicken) – she’s right about using a rotisserie chicken, they’re so flavorful, but 1 cup is not enough, – triple it! And don’t just use the breast meat – use the whole thing!
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 quart half and half
1 14 ounce can chicken broth
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup carrots, finely shredded
1 cup onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin oil
1/2 teaspoon thyme {dried}
1/2 teaspoon parsley {dried}
Freshly grated parmesan cheese – optional
1 pound potato gnocchi – can buy this in the gourmet section of many supermarkets

Directions:
Sauté the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter and olive oil, over medium heat when the onion becomes translucent, add the flour, and make a roux, let the butter and flour mixture cook for about a minute before adding 1 quart of half and half.
Cook gnocchi according to package directions.
Into the roux add in the carrots and chicken. Once the mixture becomes thick add the chicken broth. Once the mixture thickens again, add the cooked gnocchi, spinach, and seasonings, simmer until soup is heated through.

If you’re a lover of salt, like I am, you’ll notice that she doesn’t include it in this recipe at all. And it’s obvious as soon as you take a bite. Not that it lacks flavor, but just that it’s missing something. I wouldn’t even begin to tell you how much to include with the recipe, so just wait until you get it in your bowl and then salt away to your own taste. And then enjoy, because this soup is just spectacular.

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