Chicken GnocchiSo a co-worker took me to Olive Garden for the lunch a few weeks ago and I’m not ashamed to admit that I was looking forward to eating my body weight in bread sticks. When the soup and salad lunch came though, I was obsessed with this soup. It was warm and filling and just the thing after a rotten work morning.

In the clearer light of a relaxed Saturday when I drug my husband back to Olive Garden, the real lack of chicken or gnocchi in the soup left me unsatisfied and made my husband think I was crazy for talking so much about the soup beforehand.

I had to vindicate myself and so I searched and experimented to come up with a recipe to make what my head and soul knew was possible. This is that recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 chicken breasts, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • a couple of fresh grinds of black pepper (to taste)
  • 16 ounces fresh potato gnocchi (found in refrigerated aisle or you can make your own)
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped

Directions:

Chicken Gnocchi

  1. Add olive oil to stock pot on medium heat and once hot, add chicken to cook until opaque.
  2. Add the onion, celery and  carrot and sauté until onion is translucent.
  3. Add thyme, garlic and oregano and sauté for 1 minute.
  4. Add chicken stock and salt and pepper and raise heat to high until it begins to boil. Add the fresh gnocchi and gently boil for 5 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to medium low Add half and half and cream and cornstarch slurry.
  6. Reduce heat to low and add spinach and until spinach is wilted, usually 2-5 minutes.
  7. It’s ready!