If there is one thing you need to know about me, it is that when Fall hits, I am a soup fanatic! It’s just one of those meals I never get sick of. It’s so warming & I love the endless possibilities of ingredients all put into one pot. Which is another reason why I love soup, one pot, less mess!
This soup was instantly deemed a new favorite! It’s creamy, & not that bad for you if you use fat free half & half. The flavors are simple, & comforting. I always add extra vegetables to any original soup’s recipe that I find because I prefer about a 60/40 ratio of chunks to broth. The creamy broth with the plump gnocchi dumplings makes this soup lovely & balanced.
If I can give you one more reason to make this soup is that my incredibly picky 4 year old ate this & asked for seconds. Normally he would be like, “Mom, what’s the green stuff? Mom, what’s the orange stuff? Mom, what’s the chunks? I don’t think I like this Mom.” all before he even takes one bite. But he actually looked at it, smelled it, & tasted it before breaking down everything in the bowl & asking what it was. So he actually ate vegetables without crying about it! This soup is a winner people!
And as far as Olive Garden goes, they know how to make soups, & it’s so much fun to re-create them at home! Just check out my Zuppa Toscana recipe as well. Enjoy!
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 cup carrots, shredded
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1 quart Fat Free Half & Half
- 1 (14oz) can low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup fresh spinach, chiffonade (finely sliced)
- ¾ tsp dried thyme
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 (16oz) package Gnocchi
- In a large stock pot heat olive oil & saute chicken breasts. Season with a little salt & pepper. Cook until mostly done (very little pink showing.)
- Add butter until melted & then add the onion, celery, garlic & shredded carrots. Cook until onion is translucent. Add flour to absorb the liquid from the butter which will form a roux. Stir well.
- Add the half & half and chicken broth. Stir until it comes to a boil. Allow to simmer while you cook the gnocchi in another pot of boiling water until dumplings float (3 minutes.) Drain & set aside. (*You could possibly just add the gnocchi to the pot of soup, but it might thicken the soup too much & be slightly starchy.)
- Add spinach, thyme & cooked gnocchi to the pot of soup. Taste & adjust seasoning with salt & pepper. Serve hot.
- *If the soup is not thick enough, add 1-2 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with just enough COLD water to stir it smooth. Add to the HOT soup & wait for it to boil to thicken up.
Recipe altered from Pass the Sushi