3/28/09

5 Roasted Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Roasted Chicken Gnocchi Soup






I love Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi soup. The last time I ordered it, I was disappointed in how there wasn't a whole lot of chicken...or gnocchi in it.

I asked for a second bowl, with the same results.

That's when I decided that I would create my own. And I believe this version is better.

Why?



Because of this.

Roasted chicken.







I remember my folks using an electric rotisserie to get that flavorful, moist chicken that permeated the whole house. I remember it took at least 3 hours...and we couldn't wait to eat it up.
Now, you can get it at your local grocers. I found the ones at Sam's Club and Costco to be extra large and only $5.






When I brought home the roasted chicken, it was put in a flat box. I placed other groceries on top of it and carried it into my house.
Unbeknown to me, the chicken had slid inside the box, tipped, and was slowly leaving a dribbling trail of greasy broth...
on my coat, my kitchen floor and carpet.

It was NOT fun cleaning up after the mess.
I poured the remaining broth into a small bowl and stuck it in the fridge.






All that lovely fat rose to the top and hardened...



I thought, "Why not use the rest in the soup?"






After a few hours, in the fridge, I took a spoon and scraped off the solid fat from the top.

I'm glad I used this in the soup...

It added another dimension to it!






On medium heat, take 1/3 c. butter and put it in a heavy bottomed pot.

I really like the enameled cast iron pot.
No, I take that back.

I love this pot.

It has served me well.




After the butter melted, I pressed 2 cloves of garlic. If you want to use more garlic, go ahead! That's the joy of cooking!

I store my garlic in the freezer. Why?

It keeps it fresh and the skin just peels right off!

I love this garlic press.






It is a Kuhn Rikon garlic press made in Switzerland.

I just squeeze out the garlic and it comes out in long strings...




If I want minced garlic, I just take a paring knife and cut the 'strings' of garlic while it is being pressed out.






All that's left behind is a thin sliver of garlic.








And it is really EASY to clean!

I just rinse it under warm water.


That's my favorite part.








I put in 1/3 c. of all purpose flour.










I dumped in the refrigerated chicken broth and dissolved it into the melted butter.











I stirred it well. This is what I believe is called a "roux" which is the basis for cream sauces and gravies.









I poured in 4 c. of half and half.

Guess what?

It's fat free.

And the soup still tasted creamy and good!






Since this is a chicken soup, I decided to use my all time favorite bouillon...

McCormick's chicken base.


I love this stuff.







I put in 2 level teaspoons of it into the mixture.



And stirred it well.






I could have used spinach leaves or baby spinach in this recipe, but I chose to use creamed spinach.

I use this stuff in my spinach artichoke dip.

It is really easy to use...






I just cut one third of it and plopped it into the soup mix.

It just adds an extra creaminess to it!








I grated a small peeled carrot on the coarse side of my grater...the fine grater just made mush of my carrot...

I love this grater...it came from IKEA.







It keeps all the carrots shreds together until I'm ready to add it to the soup.

At this point, you could add a sliced stick of celery. Only if you really want to.

I don't. Sorry. I'm not a celery fan.





I have a difficult time detecting spices in recipes. My friend from Comemos, Let's Eat! has a talent for that.

When she tasted the soup from the Olive Garden, she said, "It has a touch of nutmeg."

Not many people would notice that. Not me.
It put in 1/4 teaspoon.




Okay, I need to confess. I HATE anything to do with bones in meat. All my chicken is boneless.

If I could, I would have a boneless chicken ranch like the one in this Far Side cartoon.

So, I held my breath, and cut out the breast portions of the roasted chicken...my husband will just have to tackle the rest.







I cut the breast lengthwise and then chopped them up into bite sized pieces.


I can handle this part.









I cut enough to have 2 cups worth. There were enough pieces left to make a sandwich.


I put the chicken in toward the end of the recipe as it was already cooked.








This is the frozen gnocchi I made earlier. I could put it directly into the soup, but I decided to cook it and see how it turned out before I put them in the soup.









I put them in a pot of boiling water...











Waited until they rose to the top...











Strained them out and put them directly into the soup.









The perfect bite...gnocchi, chicken, carrot and spinach....


Delizioso!!!




Roasted Chicken Gnocchi Soup**
(4x6 printable recipe) (full page recipe)

**This recipe is also dedicated to my sweet mother-in-law, who passed away recently from a short battle with ALS.
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