Have you ever tried gnocchi? Well, once I learned how to pronounce it (nee-o-kee), I got up the courage to try it, and well, gnocchi is Fantastico! I mean, what could be better than pasta made with potatoes, right? Since trying gnocchi, I have had it served with pasta sauce, brown butter/sage sauce, and as a side dish. But on a rare visit to Olive Garden for lunch with our grandchildren, I was exposed to a new way to eat gnocchi…creamy chicken gnocchi soup. Several in our party ordered it, and when I took a sample of theirs, I was hooked.
Today, I am sharing the recipe I came up with at home, in an attempt to recreate this hearty soup. Like most good soup recipes, begin with celery, carrots and onions diced, which are sauteed in butter and olive oil until softened. Top the vegetables with 1/2 cup of flour and toss to coat, cooking for a minute or so to eliminate the raw flour taste.
Next, it’s time to create the sauce by adding 3 cups of chicken stock. For this recipe, I used chicken bone broth, adding even more protein to the soup. Over medium heat, stir the stock, flour, vegetable mixture until it comes to a slow boil and thickens. This should take 5-6 minutes, depending on your cooktop.
Meanwhile, prepare the gnocchi according to package directions. For this soup, instead of the larger pillow style gnocchi, I am using a 16-ounce package of mini potato gnocchi purchased at an Italian specialty store, but any gnocchi will work. No matter what size or shape you use, they all call for adding the pasta to salted boiling water and boiling until they float to the surface, indicating that they are done. For the mini pasta, it took less than 5 minutes for them to float. Drain and set aside.
To the sauce, add one 12.5 ounce can of chunk chicken breast, with all juices. I get mine at Costco, but any canned chunk chicken is fine. You can also use meat from a rotisserie chicken. Stir gently to break up the chicken and add the prepared gnocchi. For seasoning, I added a sprinkling of seasoning salt, pepper, dried parsley, turmeric for its beautiful gold color, and fresh chopped parsley from my herb garden. And this creamy chicken gnocchi soup was done. As an optional step, you can stir in 1/2 cup of half and half or milk for extra creaminess, but after tasting this without, it did not really need it.
Soup is one of my favorite things to prepare. The fact that you can take simple vegetables, starch, protein and seasonings and it turns into something so delicious and flavorful is almost magical to me. And as is the case with most soups and stews, it is even better the next day.
This creamy chicken gnocchi soup did not disappoint. I don’t know if it was from the gnocchi or the bone broth or what, but this soup had a silkiness to it that was so good. I’m sure there are other recipes out there, but this is how I created my version. Now that the days are getting shorter, this soup really hits the spot. Served with rolls and a salad, or as I did with sourdough cheese sticks from Trader Joe’s, it will make a satisfying dinner the whole family will enjoy!
Here is the recipe card: