Today I have a real treat for you!
Many times on PD (Professional Development) days we get the treat of going out to lunch. My first choice is usually Olive Garden for their soup, salad and bread sticks. It's fast and delicious and doesn't put me into a food coma for the rest of the day while I try to sit through whatever "development" they have for us!
My favorite soup at Olive Garden is the Chicken and Gnocchi!
I get it whenever I go! (which isn't very often but still)
I love the creamy soup, the soft little potato gnocchis and all the yummy veggies!
Ever since I first tasted this soup I have thought I HAVE to figure out how to make this at home!
I was hoping it would be easily translated to my kitchen unlike some soups I have tried to re-create (hello Panera Creamy tomato?)
So I searched recipes online and compared them to the image in my memory and started playing around in the kitchen.
Until I perfected it and came up with this!
Get ready this is a multi-step recipe! But totally worth it!
Olive Garden Copycat Chicken and Gnocchi Soup
1 pound cooked chicken (you can use canned as well)
1 pkg Gnocchi (we like plain potato but there is also wheat, and sweet potato) Find it in the PASTA aisle.
1 cup diced celery
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup fresh spinach
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 TBS garlic
1/4 c butter
1 TBS olive oil
1/4 c flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 can chicken broth
2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan to garnish
Let's get started shall we?
First I chop the celery, onion and garlic. Then saute in a pan with the olive oil.
Here's my middle helper putting the celery into the saute pan. Saute and set aside for a moment.
Next I make a roux, using the butter and flour then slowly add the heavy cream.
The first time I saw the word roux in a recipe I freaked! I had no idea what it was, googled it and was terrified of trying to make it! Now it's second nature! I am completely a self taught cook, most of it comes very natural to me but I don't know "lots" about it
Anyway the key to a roux is keeping your heat low, whisking and patience!
Add your sauteed goodness (celery, garlic, onions) and the basil, oregano, and some salt and pepper.
Then add carrots, milk, and broth. Let simmer on medium for 10 minutes to soften up the carrots
Then add the gnocchi and raise heat and simmer for 5 minutes to cook gnocchi. Reduce heat to keep from scorching (milk based soups can easily burn)
Add spinach ( I remove the stems, I am picky that way) stir just until wilted and serve.
I like to sprinkle real Parmesan cheese and serve with crusty bread or pizza bread (shown here).
I will say my soup always seems to come out thicker than Olive Garden's which I am ok with. My husband says it needs twice as much chicken. He's not much of a soup fan!
I am linking up with Expat's Required Ingredient!
It's pasta this week and I am hoping my unique Gnocchi catches some attention!