Chicken Gnocchi Soup ~ Olive Garden copycat

chicken gnocchi soupIf you’ve ever been to Olive Garden chances are you or someone you know has had their infamous Chicken & Gnocchi soup.  If there’s ever a soup to try and replicate it would be from The Olive Garden.

They know soup for sure!

Let’s start with a brief history of the Gnocchi, shall we?

Gnocci are a form of dumplings and are very popular throughout Italy and Europe.  They have a long standing tradition in European cuisine.   The most common way to make Gnocci (pronounced N-YAW-kee) is to combine mashed potatoes with flour and form them into a bite sized ball.

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You boil them in some water or chicken stock and they are done when they float to the top.  They have virtually no flavor and are surprisingly dense.  When you bite into them you are expecting kind of like a noodle consistency but they are thicker and just the perfect consistency.  Dare I say, kind of chewy?

They are great in soups and add a lot of bulk without a lot of price.

In this Chicken and Gnocchi soup there is a delicate balance between the chicken stock and cream.  It isn’t really a broth based soup, but it really isn’t cream based either.  It’s a balance of both.

The gnocchi are so soft, the chicken is tender and the cream/broth base warms you from the inside out.

I am now on the hunt for gnocchi in sweet potato form.  I hear they do exist.  Can you imagine?

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Chicken & Gnocci Soup ~ Olive Garden copycat

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • coarse salt and fresh black pepper
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 1 1/2 cups half & half
  • 2 cups cooked white meat chicken, shredded
  • 1 pound potato gnocchi
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach, stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Instructions

  1. In a large soup pot heat the butter and oil together over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until tender over medium-low heat about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add the flour into the pot and incorporate. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often to burn off any raw flour taste (especially whole wheat).
  3. Slowly add the chicken broth 1 cup at a time, then the half & half.
  4. Bring the soup to a boil and immediately turn the stove down to low to simmer.
  5. Add the cooked chicken and continue simmering for 20 minutes stirring OFTEN so the cream base doesn’t stick to the pan or curdle. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Cook the gnocchi separately according to package directions. Add them to the soup along with the spinach.
  7. Simmer until spinach is wilted.
  8. Stir in basil.

Recipe Adapted from: Pinterest
I used all organic ingredients when available, and hope you do as well!  🙂

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