Olive Garden’s Chicken Gnocchi Soup

One of my best girlfriends and I went on a little date before we moved, and she introduced me to Olive Garden’s chicken gnocchi soup.  I have to admit I was very hesitant to try it, but afterwards was thankful I gave it a shot!  When I ran across the recipe last winter, I had to try it.  However, Faith and I are the only ones who ate it…
The weather here has been dreary since my mom arrived, with only a few days of sun, and this week the rain transported me back to winter, so I decided to, once again, make the soup.  This time I didn’t make anything else for the picky eaters.  They could just eat the breadsticks if their palates weren’t sophisticated enough for my soup, was my thinking.  Only one didn’t approve, the others ate it and enjoyed it (or so they claimed).
Super Soft Breadsticks
 Because the best part of Olive Garden is their breadsticks, and because my favorite food group is bread, it would just be wrong to make this soup without the breadsticks.  I have been making these breadsticks for about 11 years (wow!  that makes me feel very old).
Please excuse my laziness.  I took a picture of my cookbook for you.  Ha!  I don’t, however, follow all these directions exactly.  Due to the aforementioned laziness, I do not use a pan of boiling water in my oven (and the bread still cooks evenly), nor do I use the cornmeal.  I used to, but Cam doesn’t like cornmeal, and it doesn’t make any difference…I just spray some nonstick oil on the pan and call it good!  Oh!  I also skip the egg white wash before baking.  Again with the laziness…it is good that way, but easier to just bake them and rub a stick of butter on their tops when they come out 🙂
 Ellie loves to help in the kitchen, and since we moved here, she has claimed the title of breadstick maker.  She doesn’t want help, and she is super proud that she is the one who made them (she tells everyone who eats them).
 She has a method, and this time her sticks were really uniform!  Usually we get some really odd shaped ones and she has to explain it with giggles before we eat…
You should all introduce your kids to making breadsticks.  Then you don’t have to work as hard, and you get to spend time with cuteness in the kitchen!
I get so excited when we have these!
I ate three.  And I wanted more.
  • 1 cup of cooked mashed potatoes (I used leftover mashed potatoes from a few days ago)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
Mix the potatoes and the egg until smooth, then slowly add the flour.  I doubled this recipe and only had to use 3 cups of flour total, so use only enough to make a nice dough (not sticky at all).
Once you have a nice ball of dough, pinch off small pieces and roll into long snakes (as seen above).  Cut them into about 1/2 inch pieces and drop into salted boiling water until they float.  Remove and set them aside. (I also froze some before the boiling step to save for another time)
Boiling with super hot blue flames coming up waiting to burn my hands…
 Waiting to be added to the world’s best soup!
 Chicken Gnocchi Soup
 The recipe came from here
You will need:
  • One onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup celery
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 quart half and half (4 cups)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 14 oz. chicken broth
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • One cup of cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
We don’t like chunks of celery or onions, so I put them in a blender along with 4 cloves of garlic (you can never have too much garlic right?!) and pureed them.  Then I put that “soup” in a skillet with the butter and oil and let is simmer for awhile.  Add the flour to make a roux (unless you are as bad at this as I am, then add the half and half first.  ha!).  I didn’t actually have half and half so I used 2 cups of heavy cream and 2 cups of milk.  I added that to my celery/onion/garlic mixture, then added the flour to thicken it.  I didn’t want clumps and this ensured that I didn’t get any.   Throw in the cooked chicken and grated carrots, put the lid on it and let it simmer while you finish doing other things (like the gnocchi or breadsticks).  Don’t taste it yet!  If you do taste it, know that the flavor is way off because you haven’t added the chicken broth.  The broth transforms this soup!  Once it gets a bit thicker, add the chicken broth, spinach, and gnocchi.  Let it simmer again, then serve it and listen to your family ooooh and ahhh over you being such a fabulous cook!
My chopped spinach.  I did it quickly, not uniformly, and it was perfect!
It really doesn’t look all that appetizing, but don’t blame the soup…blame the photographer.  Or the lighting.  Anything but the soup!

2 thoughts on “Olive Garden’s Chicken Gnocchi Soup

  1. Steph I love the way you blog and express yourself!!!! I know that this characteristic is in me somewhere but I just don’t know where to start. I check your site daily and sometimes read past dayes over and over. I just want you to know that you are never far from my thoughts and prayers!!!! Love Aunt Vicki


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