A while back a friend of mine asked me to come up with a recipe for Olive Garden’s Chicken Gnocchi soup. Well I have to confess, I have only been to an Olive Garden maybe twice in my whole life, and the last time was several years ago. And…I have never had their chicken gnocchi soup. It’s kind of hard to make a recipe for something you have never tried, so I went online and read some descriptions of their soup. This is what I came up with. I don’t know how it compares to their soup – though I can tell you that my soup does not come out of a bag and just get heated up in a pot.
This soup has bits of chicken with gnocchi, spinach and other veggies in a rich broth. It is perfect paired with simple drop biscuits with a hint of garlic.
To begin, dice 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into 1/2 inch pieces. Salt and pepper them with a half teaspoon each.
In a Dutch oven, heat a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and a tablespoon of butter.
Toss in the chicken and cook until it is opaque and lightly golden in spots.
While the chicken is cooking, dice a 3 inch onion, 2 carrots and 2 stalks of celery, and mince 4 cloves of garlic.
Scoop the chicken out and set it aside in a dish.
To the pot, add 3 more tablespoons of butter and the veggies you have prepared. Cook the veggies over medium heat until the onions and garlic are tender.
Add in a quarter cup of flour. Stir it in and cook for 1 minute.
Add in a quart of chicken broth and1 1/2 c half & half.
Add in an additional half teaspoon of salt & pepper. Over medium heat, bring the soup to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally.
When the soup has come to a gentle boil, add a pound of gnocchi.
Add in a tablespoon each of parsley and basil, a half teaspoon of thyme and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg.
Along with those, add in 10 ounces of frozen spinach that has been thawed, rinsed and drained.
And finally add the chicken back into the pot. Let everything simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the gnocchi are cooked through. That gives you just enough time to whip up some simple drop biscuits to go with it.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, a tablespoon of baking powder, 2 teaspoons of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a teaspoon of garlic powder. Stir those together and add in a half cup of melted butter and a cup of milk. Stir until just combined.
Scoop the dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet using a muffin scoop or tablespoons. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they are lightly golden in spots.
Serve the soup with a little sprinkling of shredded parmesan cheese.