Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

I'm a little bit of an Italian restaurant snob.  Whenever we're choosing a place to go out to dinner, I usually steer away from Italian restaurants because, "I can boil pasta at home."  Now, I know that is incredibly naive and stubborn of me, but if I'm going to spend money on going out to eat, I want to get something like Korean BBQ or all you can eat sushi.  I do have to say that I once had a lovely meal at an Italian restaurant in the city, and if I do happen to come across an Italian restaurant that boasts homemade pasta I will choose to go there.  Most of the time, I'll spend my money elsewhere.

Unless, the Italian restaurant is Olive Garden  (I know, it's not a real Italian restaurant.  Bear with me here...).

My mom and I like to have "Mommy and me lunches" at Olive Garden.  Unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks?  There's nothing better in my book.  During the week I had off from school I was hoping to find an open Olive Garden so my mom and I could get our favorite lunch, until I came across this recipe on (where else) Pinterest.  Why go out when I can make something almost as delicious at home?

The soup is really easy to make and comes together relatively quickly.  You just need to remember to stir it often so you don't get that nasty skin on the top, and keep the heat on medium-low so that you do not scald the 1/2 and 1/2.  Yes, this soup is made with a quart of 1/2 and 1/2.  Be sure to share it with family members and friends so you don't end up eating that quart on your own.  Balance it with a salad made with this dressing and some bread for the whole Olive Garden experience, without having to leave the comfort of your home.

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup
Serves 6
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 20 min

-     4 tbsp butter
-     4 tbsp olive oil
-     ½ onion, diced
-     2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
-     ¼ c flour
-     1 qt half and half
-     1 (18 oz) package gnocchi
-     1 c cooked chicken breast, cubed
-     1 2/3 c chicken broth
-     1 c fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
-     ½ tsp dried thyme
-     Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the butter and olive oil in a medium sized pot over medium heat.  When the butter is melted, add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Add the flour and combine completely to form a roux.  Then, add the half and half and bring the pot down to medium – low heat, stirring constantly

Cook the gnocchi according to the directions on the package.  Drain and set aside.

Once the soup begins to thicken (after about 10 minutes), add the chicken, chicken broth, spinach, seasonings, and cooked gnocchi.  Simmer for an additional 10 minutes, stirring often.  Serve immediately.

When reheating this soup for another day (because this recipe makes a lot of soup), you might want to thin it with some more chicken broth.  The soup will thicken overnight.

Adapted from: Pass the Sushi


  1. Sometimes a good time isn't about the restaurant :) It's about the company! Great looking soup!

  2. Hi!
    I've nominated you for a Liebster Award!


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