Saturday, September 24, 2011

Olive Garden Chicken Gnocci Soup and Breadsticks

One of my most favorite places to eat is Olive Garden.  Usually I get the Fettuccine Alfredo, and of course the salad and bread sticks.  One day, I deviated from my norm.  I decided to do the soup.  I tried the Chicken gnocchi soup and was instantly in love!!  I think I had at least 3 bowls of it, not to mention one of the big bowls of salad and an order of bread sticks.....I was a bit hungry =)  I decided that this was a soup I need to learn to make so I could have it anytime I wanted.

1 cup chicken breasts, cooked and diced
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream

14 oz chicken broth (I did 14 oz. water and 2 bouillon cubes, but you can use canned if you'd like)
1/2 cup celery, finely diced (about 1 large celery stalk)
2 minced garlic cloves
1 cup carrots, finely shredded (about 2-3 medium carrots)
1 cup onion, finely diced (about1 medium onion)
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoons extra virgin oil
1 tsp. Italian seasonings
Freshly grated Parmesan cheeses, optional
1 pound potato gnocchi (I had to go to several stores and get it but found it at Macey's in the pasta isle)

Get out a 6qt. pot.

Dice you celery, really fine or else it won't get soft.

Shred your carrots.

Finely dice your onions as well.

Add all the veggies to you pot.  Add butter, oil, and garlic.  Saute until onions and celery are soft.  

Add the flour to make a roux.  Let it cook for about 1 minute, while you stir so it doesn't burn.

Add the broth and spinach. 

 Mix well and let it simmer.  

While it is simmering, get out your gnocchi and cook it according to package directions.  It is usually boil for about 2-3 minutes or until they begin to float.  

Drain the gnocchi and add it to the soup, along with the chicken, milk and cream. 

 Let it simmer for about 15 minutes to get the flavors well blended.  sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.  You don't have to, but I highly recommend it.

The original recipe called for half and half instead of cream and milk, but I didn't have any so i substituted. I think my soup would have been a bit creamier if I had used half cream and half milk, but it still turned out good.  Also, I think next time I make it I am going to try and make my own gnocchi.  I didn't this time because I was being lazy (except I ended up having to go to 3 different stores so I might as well have just made it) and I didn't have enough potatoes.

Bread Sticks

4 c. flour
1 1/3 c. warm water
4 tsp. butter, melted
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 tsp yeast

2tsp butter, melted
garlic powder

Combine yeast, water and sugar.  Set aside for 5 minutes.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, butter, and salt.  Add in the yeast mixture.  Knead on a floured surface.  Divide the dough into 12 pieces.  Roll out into snake-like logs.  cover and let rise for 45 minutes. 

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

 Brush the bread sticks with butter and bake for 15 minutes, or until they begin to brown.  Remove from oven, and brush with butter once more.  Sprinkle garlic powder, to taste, over top of the bread sticks. 

 Enjoy!  These taste great dipped in the soup!

I was very happy with how this turned out.  Usually when I make soups, the first time I make it it is just okay so I have to make it a few times before I am happy with it.  I think I got this the first time, even though I almost ruined it.  I went to put in the italian seasonings, and I have  ashaker that is similar that has cinnamon and sugar in it that I started to shake in it....luckily most of it got on teh spatula.  I almost freaked but then I saw I didn't get any it an dI calmed myself down.  I guess that should teach me to look closer and label my shakers better, huh?

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