Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

My husband and I are a huge fan of the Olive Garden's unlimited salad, soup and breadsticks and like to eat there once a month or so. The last time were there, I said, I think I can replicate this I tasted and tasted and rolled it around in my mouth and came home and got to work. A few tries later and some research on the web and I came up with my own version of Chicken Gnocchi Soup and it is pretty close to the real thing! My version is a bit "healthier" (I use half and half instead of real cream which I'm pretty sure OG uses) and I made mine "heartier" stuffed full of the vegetables and chicken. I think you'll love this!

Ingredients List:
(I double this for my large family and then have left overs for lunch boxes the next day)
4 flash frozen chicken breasts; thawed
4 cups of chicken broth (I use Swanson)
2 1/2 cups of half and half
1 rib of celery; diced
1 clove garlic; diced
10 baby carrots; diced
1/2 onion; diced
2 lg. handfuls of fresh spinach; chiffonade
1 Tbls. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teas. thyme; dried
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. potato gnocchi (I used Clavata brand)
2 Tbls. flour

STEP ONE: Cook your chicken breasts; I spray dutch oven with Pam and put the breasts in, flip once and after about 5 mins. cook time, I pour some chicken broth over them, cover with a lid and let cook until done. This makes the chicken moist and delicious, plus makes some yummy juice to add to the soup.

STEP TWO: While your breasts are cooking; saute the onion, celery, carrot and garlic in 1 Tbls. of EVOO until soft; set aside.
STEP THREE: Dice the cooked chicken breasts into nice bite sized pieces.

STEP FOUR: Chiffonade the spinach and have it ready at the stove side.

SOUP ASSEMBLY: Add chicken, chicken stock, half and half, salt, pepper, thyme, flour (acts as a stablizer to keep the half and half and broth from separating and also to thicken the soup a bit) and vegetables to the pot. Stirring frequently - Heat on high until boiling. Once the soup begins to boil add the gnocchi. Boil for 4 minutes and then turn down the heat to medium. Simmer for 10 additional minutes.

After 10 minutes of simmering is complete; add the spinach to the pot. Continue simmering an additional 10 minutes on medium heat. The spinach should be wilted. Keep warm until serving. Ladle into bowls and dive in!

You'll be grabbing your chest and singing "That's Amore!"
You think it's good straight from the pot...wait until the next day! It's even better then!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Vegetable Soup....

This is really good and its Granny Eileen came up with this idea of using Hamburger as the meat and I've eaten many a pot of her soup and my Mama's version too....but this is mine, that I have hoaned like a fine skill over the past 13 years of marriage :)

Ingredients List:
Family Size Package of frozen mixed vegetables
1 or 2 healthy tablespoons of Beef Stock Paste
1 envelope of Lipton French Onion Soup Mix (have you noticed that I use this a lot?)
1 lg. tomato cocktail juice (like V8)
2 lbs. of ground beef fried; drained
2 cans of tomatoes


Dump in the frozen vegetables, then the beef paste and the french onion soup mix.

Next pour in the tomato cocktail juice.

Add the tomatoes - I had home canned, but if I don't have these I use two cans of Rold Gold Tomatoes - just dump it in juice and all.

Add the beef.

Set on high and let it cook for 6-8 hours until the vegetables are tender.

Serve with warm out of the oven homemade butter bread. DELISH :)