One of my favorite soups ever is Olive Garden's chicken and gnocchi soup. We don't get there quite as often, but when we do, I usually always end up with a bowl of their creamy and delicious chicen and gnocchi soup. I recently decided to make this soup at home for the first time, and I cannot believe how easy it was to make, plus how much it tasted just like Olive Garden's. My husband was so pleased and impressed and agrees, it's just like Olive Garden's! Read below for the recipe and make sure you read on how you can make the creaminess thicker or thinner to your liking.
The following recipe makes 6-8 bowls servings
4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 cups diced onion
3/4 cup thinly diced carrots
1/2 cup thinly diced celery
2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp flour
3 cups chicken stock (have extra on hand)
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups cooked chicken breast meat, shredded or cubed (I boil my chicken in salted water until done)
1 lb bag potato gnocchi
1/2 bag of 1 pound frozen spinach (remove the stems)
1 1/2 Tbsp basil
salt and pepper, to taste
grated parmesan cheese (optional)
In a 5 quart dutch oven pot, melt 3 Tbsp of butter with your olive oil on medium heat. Once butter has melted, add your chopped onion and thinly diced carrots and celery with your garlic powder, basil and a few dashes of salt, mixing every now and then. Sauté your vegetables until they are soft. Next, add 1 more Tbsp of butter. Once melted, add your flour and mix gently until there are no lumps. Add 1 cup of chicken broth, mixing to make sure no lumps form. Let simmer for a few minutes to thicken. Once you have a nice creamy texture with no lumps, add 2 more cups of chicken broth, and your milk (I used 2%) and heavy cream.
Add your cooked chicken breast that you shredded or cubed, to the pot and simmer for 20 minutes. You can also use dark meat, or both white and dark meat-- whichever chicken you prefer!
Meanwhile, cook your gnocchi according to its manufacturer's directions, and set aside. For the spinach, I used frozen spinach, but you can also feel free to use fresh spinach (anywhere from 3-4 cups, raw). I placed half a bag of frozen spinach in a microwavable steamer with 2-3 Tbsp of water (I was disappointed to see stems in the bag, so picked out most of the stems as I didn't want them in the soup) and steamed the spinach until it was nice and soft.
After your soup has simmered for 20 minutes, add the gnocchi and spinach to the pot and simmer some more, while adding salt, pepper and more garlic powder to taste. Now, you can make the creaminess of the soup as thick or as thin as you want. All you have to do is add more chicken broth if you want it thinner. Once you get just the right amount of salt and garlic flavor you like, this soup is just like Olive Garden's!
Please tell us if you make this recipe and what you think! I am even more in love with this soup, now that I know how easy it is to make, and that I can make it in the convenience of my own home when I'm craving it! Delicious and such a big hit!