Friday, June 22, 2012

Gnocchi Chicken Soup

I've been wanting to make a soup like this ever since I heard about it, sometime last year.  I had ordered some gnocchi online right before that and this soup sounded good.  Although we're into summer now, it's been cool and rainy here and still soup weather.  We've had many nice and sunny days, but it keeps going back and forth between sunny and cool and rainy. 

I found two soup recipes from Food.com and kind of took what I wanted from each of them.  Both recipes called for cooked chicken (or turkey), but I just threw some raw chicken tenders in with the simmering broth and shredded them later.  Perfect!  My kids do not like gnocchi for some reason, so they didn't love this soup, but I made blue cornbread on the same night, so they had their fill of that.  :) 

I loved this!  And good thing, too, since I ate the leftovers for lunch for two days afterward.  :)  Instead of 2 cups of half and half, I used 2/3 cup cream, and 1 1/3 cups store bought almond milk.  No need for cornstarch to thicken it- it was SO smooth, thick and creamy.  I loved the texture!


Gnocchi Chicken Soup
from here and here

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, shredded
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 chicken breasts OR 4-5 chicken tenders, raw or cooked (see directions)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
16 ounces potato gnocchi
2 cups half and half (or 2/3 cup cream; 1 1/3 cups store bought almond milk; works wonderfully!)
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

1.  In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic clove and stir and cook until onion is translucent. 

2.  Add chicken broth.  Bring to a simmer.  If using raw chicken, add it now, whole.  Cover the pot.  (You can shred it later, after cooking).  If adding raw chicken, chop it and add it now.  If using raw chicken, simmer 10-15 minutes until cooked.  If using breasts, you may need 20 minutes or more. 

3. If using raw chicken, shred when it is cooked through, using two forks.  If using cooked chicken, simmer 10 minutes.  Proceed with recipe:  Add dried thyme, oregano, and salt and pepper.  Add gnocchi to gently simmering broth and cook for about 3 minutes.  Turn the heat down to medium-low, and gently stir in the half-and-half, or cream/almond milk mixture, until heated through.  Add the chopped spinach and cover pot to allow spinach to wilt.  When spinach is wilted, turn the heat to very low, add mozzarella cheese.  Stir just until melted and remove from the heat. 

4.  This should be thick enough, but to thicken further, you may add about 2 Tbs. cold water to 1 Tbs. cornstarch and whisk into the soup over medium heat. 
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