Tobins' Tastes: Olive Garden's Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Olive Garden's Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

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Last Friday we enjoyed a little visit from the outer bands of Hurricane Sandy. Thank God we only had heavy rains and gusty winds and no real damage here in South Florida. Our thoughts and prayers are with those in the Northeast who weren't so fortunate.

The only upside of a late season storm in Florida is the amazingly cool weather that usually follows in its path. Over the weekend and earlier this week we had temperatures drop into the low 50's and even a few nights in the high 40's. Stormy nights followed by chilly weather had me in the mood for soup.

It is so rare that it is cool enough to really enjoy a big bowl of soup that I knew I would have to take advantage of it so earlier this week I finally decided to try CopyKat's version of Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi Soup.

I pinned this recipe almost a year ago and I just assumed it would be difficult to make. This is my soup of choice for the Olive Garden "Soup, Salad & Breadstick" meal and the idea of being able to make it at home intrigued me. I am so mad at myself for taking so long to actually make it.

Our homemade version of soup, salad and breadsticks: All from scratch!
This soup blew Olive Garden's out of the water. (Not to toot my own horn or anything...) It was so flavorful, so savory and just the perfect combo of ingredients. I love that the soup wasn't too salty and that we could control the sodium by using low sodium chicken broth. My biggest complaint about eating at Olive Garden is that even though it is sooo good it is a little bit salty for my taste. Problem solved!

The recipe actually made so much that we each had a bowl (or two), I brought a good sized tupperware to work and we had a huge tupperware that we froze for another day. Full of shredded chicken, gnocchi, carrots and spinach, this soup was super filling and made for the perfect hardy dinner on a chilly night. I paired it with a spinach salad and homemade whole wheat baguettes from the freezer and it was almost like we were at Olive Garden : )

Olive Garden's Chicken & Gnocchi Soup adapted from CopyKat
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups of milk (we used 2%)
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2-3 cups of low sodium chicken broth depending on how thick you like your soup
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1-2 cups of shredded chicken, I just used a bag of frozen precooked, shredded chicken we had on hand
  • 1 package gnocchi, cooked or the equivalent homemade
  • handful of spinach leafs, ribboned
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley
1.) Heat the butter and olive oil in a large soup pot. Saute the onion, celery and garlic in the oil and butter until tender.

2.) Stir in the flour and cook for a minute before adding in the milk. Add the carrots and chicken and let the mixture simmer until it starts to thicken.

3.) While it is simmering, cook the gnocchi according to the directions on the package. Strain and set aside.

4.) Once mixture is thickend, add chicken broth to reach desired consistency.Once mixture tightens up again, add the gnocchi, spinach and seasoning. Simmer until fully heated through.

5.) Serve with your own version of salad and bread sticks and enjoy the tastes of Olive Garden right in your own home!

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