We had a couple of cold days last week. The local meteorologists had been forecasting a cold front for a few days and we were READY for it! October in Louisiana is never cold. I can remember numerous Halloweens when my kids wore skimpy little costumes and were completely comfortable. And one year, Christopher was a Sasquatch and barely survived without passing out! It was hot!
So we were thrilled with the prospect of cooler temps.
Michael was working Hurricane Ian claims in south Florida and Christopher moved out into his own place about a month ago. So it was just me and Elizabeth. And we both love soup!
I already had a soup in mind for the cool weather (which was coming on Wednesday), so on Sunday, I cooked a 3-pound bag of frozen chicken breasts in the slow cooker most of the day and then cooled and shredded it before putting it into a big ZipLoc and putting it in the refrigerator. That made this soup super easy and quick. It took less than 30 minutes to make and it was exceptional. For real. One of the best soups I’ve made in a really long time.
Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- Drizzle of olive oil
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 softball-sized onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1 cup of shredded carrots
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
- 1 quart of half and half
- 1 32-oz. box of low sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup of grated Parmesan
- 4-6 cups of shredded or cubed cooked chicken
- 4 cups of fresh spinach, slightly torn
- 2 packages of shelf-stable gnocchi
- Salt to taste
- 4 cups of water (if needed)
- In a large pot, drizzle olive oil and melt butter.
- Add onions and sauté over high heat for 2-3 minutes – or until onions are soft and translucent.
- Add garlic and carrots and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Sprinkle flour over top and stir to incorporate. Cook for a couple of minutes to cook the raw taste out of the flour.
- Add half and half and continue stirring until mixture begins to thicken.
- Add stock and Parmesan and stir.
- Add chicken, torn spinach and both packages of gnocchi.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat. Cover and simmer on low heat for 5-10 minutes.
- Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if necessary.
- Add water if soup is too thick for your preference.
- Serve hot.
Well Duh #1: Although the picture shows butter on top of the onions, that’s because I forgot to put it in with the olive oil and let it melt! It was fine!
Well Duh #2: You really need to wait until the soup (with the half and half) thickens before you add the stock.
Well Duh #3: This makes a REALLY thick soup. Add water to thin it out a little, if you want. I added water after Elizabeth and I ate because I KNEW that it would thicken up a LOT once I put it into containers and refrigerated it. That would be totally fine. I would just need to add water while I was reheating it. I chose to add the water before putting it into containers so that it would be the right consistency after heating. When I heated it up in the microwave at school, it was perfect.
Well Duh #4: I use this shelf-stable gnocchi. I got these packages at Kroger, but I usually get them at WalMart. I try to keep a couple of packages in the pantry at all times because I LOVE cooking with gnocchi! It is already partially cooked, but it is hard and not great when it’s cold. When cooked, it becomes light and pillowy and fantastic!
Well Duh #5: You can leave out the spinach, if you like. It won’t change the soup that much.
Well Duh #6: You can add less chicken, if you want to. I used the entire 3-pound bag that I had cooked, but you can add less. I would probably add no less than 3-4 cups of cooked chicken. And you can cut it into cubes instead of shredding it, if you like
Elizabeth and I LOVED this soup! The back flavor of Parmesan gives the soup a richness and makes it taste like it cooked for HOURS instead of 30 minutes. It is warm and comforting and absolutely delicious!
This recipe makes a ton, so you may want to make a half batch. We each had a big bowl of it and then I put three quarts of it into containers and refrigerated it. I took a container to a friend who doesn’t like to cook and took a small container for my lunch. Elizabeth had it again for dinner the next night. The flavor just got better!
I love soup weather! Soup, gumbo, chili, stew…I love it all!
Make this delicious soup as soon as your weather cools off! Of just turn down the AC and pretend!