Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

It officially frosted this morning in central Illinois so that means it’s time to make soup! Actually, I think it’s time to make soup when the temp hits about 60 degrees because for one thing, soup is so easy. Two, it can sit in a crock pot and simmer all day so it’s ready when you want it. Three, well, it’s just warm and cozy so what’s not to love?

I made Chicken Gnocchi Soup to warm us all up and it was delicious so I thought I would share the recipe. It’s loosely based on Olive Garden’s recipe, but as you will see, I add a few special things to mine. For those of you who don’t know what Gnocchi is, it a wonderful little potato dumpling. It’s so good, and what’s even more wonderful is that now you can pretty much find it in any grocery store known to man.

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First, I baked 4 large boneless, skinless, chicken breasts. I actually did this in the crockpot early in the morning and threw them in still frozen, but feel free to use your oven. From a thawed state it would take about an hour in a 375 degree oven.

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Time to gather ingredients. You’ll need EVOO, spinach (fresh or frozen), 2 chicken bouillon cubes (low sodium), 1 stalk of celery, 1 cup of chopped carrots, 4 or 5 button portabella mushrooms, 1 small onion or half a large, 2 cloves of garlic and Rosemary (fresh is best if you have it). Not pictured:  1 can of evaporated milk and 2 cans of low sodium chicken broth, 1 Tbsp. of fresh Thyme and 1 TBSP. of fresh Sage.

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Chop all of your veggies to around the same size so they all cook evenly.

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In your soup pot, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat.

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While my oil was heating, I decided to add one more veggie. I quickly chopped up about half of this Butternut squash and added it to the pile vegetables.

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Soften the celery, carrots and onion for about 10 minutes until fragrant and the onion is translucent. Don’t forget to salt them.  In the meantime, I threw the cubed squash in the microwave for about 5 minutes to give it  a head start.

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Next, add in the mushrooms and garlic and squash.

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Then, pour in the broth and 2 cups of water and the bouillon cubes.

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Once it comes to a nice simmer and all the veggies are cooked, add in a cup of frozen spinach or about 3 cups of fresh spinach, your baked chicken (cubed), the herbs, and the can of milk. Let it all come to a simmer again and then add in the gnocchi, cooking by the manufacturers directions ( I think it takes about 10 minutes).

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Once the gnocchi is done, it’s ready to serve..

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…or you can throw it in the crock pot for later like I did. This recipe freezes well also so feel free to make it in large quantities.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Happy Tuesday.

love,

Val

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