Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

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We LOVE the Chicken and Gnocchi soup at Olive Garden.  A lot.  So of course I had to find a similar recipe…this one is pretty darn close, but with a lot more veggies.  I normally use a bunch or bag of spinach or kale.  And I eyeball the rest of the veggies.  You can adjust this recipe by adding more veggies and broth.  The taste stays the same.  I’m also going to include a recipe for Ricotta Gnocchi/dumplings.  These are yummy in the soup and really tender.  They even tend to break up a little in the soup making it richer.

Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

1 cup chicken breast, cooked and diced
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups cream (half and half, heavy cream or whole milk)
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup carrots, finely shredded
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon parsley
freshly grated Parmesan
1 lb gnocchi

Poach chicken breasts in broth in microwave till cooked through.  Cool and then coarsely chop or shred.

Saute onion, celery, garlic, spinach and carrots in olive oil till onion is nearly translucent.  Stir frequently.

Add chicken, chicken broth and spices.  Bring to a boil.

Slowly add gnocchi to boiling broth.

Turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  If you want a thicker soup add a cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with a little water) add to soup before adding cream.  Add the cream.  Allow mix to come to boil slowly.  Serve immediately.

This is a batch with spinach.  We prefer kale not only because it is healthier than spinach but for the texture that it adds to the soup.

Ricotta Gnocchi/Dumplings

1 lb fresh ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chives, minced
2/3 cup flour, plus extra for rolling

Mix together ricotta and beaten egg.  Add Parmesan, salt and pepper and chives.  Then slowly add flour to obtain the right consistency.  Let rest for 5 minutes.  Sprinkle work surface with flour.  Scoop out a tennis ball size of dough and start rolling into a long cylinder about 3/4 inches thick.  Once the cylinder is even and completely rolled out, cut into 1 inch dumplings.

Place on a floured sheet till ready to cook.  Bring water to simmer, not boil and add gnocchi.

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