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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chicken & Gnocchi Soup - Your Best Weekly

Let me preface this by telling you that I am NOT a food photographer.  I try, but not often enough to be very good.  My problem is probably that I'm trying to photograph food when I'm hungry and just want to eat it, which is the case with today's recipe I am sharing.  :)  I had just finished exercising and was really hungry for lunch!  So I didn't want to spend a lot of time setting up and photographing my lunch.  I wanted to eat!  :)

I have shared this recipe before but it has been a while.  And I have tweaked it some since then also.

Chicken & Gnocchi Soup (like Olive Garden's)

This is the suggested recipe.
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 carrot, shredded
1 garlic clove, chopped
3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper
Knorr homestyle stock, chicken flavor (optional, but highly recommended)  :)
4 cups chicken stock (I use broth)
2 cups half and half
16 ounces potato gnocchi
1 Tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped

Cook chicken (I use my pressure cooker), let cool, then chop into chunks.  Set aside.  (You could also use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.)

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil.  Saute celery, onions, carrots, and garlic until soft.  (I usually wait a few minutes to add the garlic since it seems to cook faster than the other veggies.)

Add chicken, thyme, salt and pepper to taste, and one of the little packets of Knorr homestyle stock.  (I just recently discovered how yummy the Knorr homestyle stock makes some of the things I make, so while this isn't necessary, it will rock your world!  Okay, not really, but it will make this soup really, really tasty!)  If you add the stock, just mix until it melts.

Add chicken stock/broth and half and half.  Heat to boiling.

Add gnocchi.  Gently boil for 4 minutes, then turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add spinach and cook another 1-2 minutes until spinach is wilted.

If you want thicker soup, mix cornstarch with 1-2 tablespoons water and add.  (I have never needed to add cornstarch.  The soup is just perfect for me without it.)

Serve with salad and/or bread and enjoy!

Now when I make it, I don't really measure anything but the half and half.  Everything else I just wing it.  For instance, I never measure the olive oil - I just pour.  I also used 3 carrots this time, 2 garlic cloves, and a couple handfuls of spinach. We buy baby spinach in bags so I just remove the stems and rip it apart instead of chopping.  It is just easier.  And it doesn't hurt to have more veggies in your soup, right?

Oh, and I always add more than 16 ounces of gnocchi.  We buy our gnocchi at Sam's Club in 3 packs.  Each pack has 1.1 pounds in it and I add two packs to our soup.  The gnocchi is the kids' favorite part of the soup.  :)  That's probably why I never need to add cornstarch.  The extra gnocchi probably helps thicken the soup.

I made a loaf of French bread to eat with our soup last and everyone loved it.  And I get to eat leftovers for lunch for a few days.  Yum!

This is very similar to Olive Garden's soup, but we just ate there recently and I got their soup.  I have to say - I like mine better.  Maybe because we make this once a month or so and my taste buds have gotten used to it.

Anyway, that's my share for this week.

Thanks to Gina for featuring my little monster valentines from last week!  They were a hit with Alex's classmates!

Linking with Gina for Your Best Weekly.
Kleinworth & Co., your best weekly button, DIY sharing, project sharing, recipe sharing, weekly Wednesday blog link up


Tamar SB said...

It looks so pretty! The blue placemat makes it pop!!

Rainey said...

Yum! This soup is so good! :-)

Gina @ Kleinworth & Co. said...

Looks absolutely AMAZING!!!! Beautiful photo too!!!

Tish said...

First off, those Valentines were adorable!!
Second ... i am so making this, this week! i am a soup-lover.
also - you could have fooled me! you certainly look like you know exactly what you are doing with food photography!! thanks for sharing!!

Amarie said...

Oh, my. Must try this!