Monday, September 28, 2015

Chicken & Gnocchi Soup Recipe- Olive Garden copycat

Photo Credits: Cinnamon, Spice and everything nice
With The Farmer's birthday coming up in just a few weeks I am beginning to plan what i'll do for him this year. After learning that my job is in a "red zone", (I have been basically temporarily laid off without pay), I will have to keep this birthday on a tight budget. Of course I've been stressing out because of it. I have money flowing out and none coming in for God knows how long and every job I've looked at would interfere with my real estate classes that I am taking now and that would mean putting our future in a sticky situation just for a temporary job. But am I going to let that ruin his birthday? Definitely not.
I have a little bit of money saved back for situations like this so I should be good a few tight budgeted weeks.
He's gotten to see the stress flowing out of my soul this past week in full blast, and he's stressed because of harvest season. So, the least I could do is to make it up to him for one night. I've already bought his present and it should be here by next week. (I may be broke, but I will find the money to buy him something just to see him happy.) I am also thinking about making his favorite soup. Which of course is mine also! Chicken and gnocchi soup from Olive Garden. Wish me luck and read on for the recipe and to see what I did last year for his birthday!

Last year, I was able to go all out with something romantic. I bought a bunch of those small flame-less tea light candles from the dollar store and I told him to take us to my family's hunting preserve by the pond and to back up towards the pond. I laid thick blankets and quilts in the back and placed the candles in a heart shape around the middle and two long strands of cordless Christmas lights along the sides, it was beautiful! We laid there watching the stars, and listening to the frogs and the occasional sound of a fish hitting the water. It was seriously amazing. But anyway, here's the recipe for that wonderful little soup from Heaven:

BTW: I got this recipe from "Cinnamon, Spice and Everything Nice."


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • coarse salt and fresh black pepper
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 + 1/2 cups half & half
  • 2 cups cooked white meat chicken, shredded or cut into small bites
  • 1 pound potato gnocchi
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach, stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • fresh grated Parmesan and/or Romano, for serving

  1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven heat the butter and oil together over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until tender over medium-low heat about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Sprinkle the flour into the pot and stir into the vegetables, cook 3 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the chicken broth 1 cup at a time, followed by the half & half.
  3. Add the cooked chicken. Bring up to a simmer and maintain for 20 minutes stirring often. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cook the gnocchi separately according to package directions. Add them to the soup along with the spinach. Simmer until spinach is wilted. Stir in basil. Serve with grated cheese.

Test it out and let me know what you think! Is it Farmer worthy?

***UPDATE: I made this for the Farmer's birthday and he seemed to like it! It filled us up pretty fast and he wanted less gnocchi than I did but it was very good!

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