Want to see what other Soup/Stew recipes were made during the swap? Here is the link to the Soup/Stew Recipe Swap Roundup
Note to self: ask for a light box for Christmas. My photos are downright awful now that I'm stuck taking pictures inside without natural light.
On to the recipe. Now that the weather is turning cold (and rainy for many areas of the country) I thought it was time for a soup swap. As I said in my last post about soup, I'm not really a fan of soup as a general rule, but I know a lot of people love it and are always looking for new recipes. If you couldn't tell from reading my blog, I have a weakness for cream-based anything so I was excited when I got my recipe for Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup from The Cooking Nurse.
I have to admit, I was shocked by how good this recipe was since I'm a little biased against Olive Garden. Once I looked over the ingredients I knew I'd like it, but I didn't anticipate loving it. And SP was also a huge fan. The flavors were outstanding. I'm so glad the recipe made more then we could eat for dinner and lunch the next day so I was able to freeze some for when I'm too busy to cook.
The gnocchi was a little heavy for my tastes, so I think I'll swap it for small pasta next time. The base of the chicken, veggies, seasoning and cream was what really had me hooked.
Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Slightly Modified from The Cooking Nurse
1 pound of potato gnocchi (or 1 cup short cut pasta)
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 ribs celery, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups half and half
2 cups milk
2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced (you can use a rotisserie chicken)
1 (14oz) can of chicken broth
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Cook gnocchi (or pasta) according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Heat butter over medium heat in a Dutch oven. Saute the onion, celery, carrot and garlic until the onion is translucent. Add the flour and cook for about a minute. Add the half and half and milk. Bring to a simmer, then add the chicken.
Once the mixture becomes thick add the chicken broth. Once the mixture thickens again, add the cooked gnocchi or pasta, spinach, and seasonings, then simmer until soup is heated through.
Serve with crusty bread for dipping.
UPDATE: November 8, 2011 I made this again for dinner last night and subbed 1 cup dry nugget pasta, cooked according to package directions, drained and stirred into the soup at the very end of the cooking time. It was a fantastic sub and made the dish lighter. I HIGHLY recommend the substitution. This is an awesome soup!