Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup is a ridiculously luscious chicken soup with chopped baby spinach and pillowy potato gnocchi dumplings. Overall this soup is pretty effortless and I love to use leftover chicken, which makes whipping up this soup a cinch. A hearty soul-warming soup on your table in no time.
Truth be told I’ve never heard of this soup until this summer. Haileigh had her beautiful bestie, Ashlyn over and us girls were sitting around the kitchen table, as we normally do, sipping coffee and chatting about life stuff. This particular morning we somehow stumbled onto the topic of our favorite soups. By the way, soup season is my favorite season. Asking me to pick my favorite soup is like asking me to pick my favorite kid, I just can’t. But if I had to, it would be a tie between Italian White Bean and no lie, this chicken and gnocchi soup. Haileigh’s is most definitely Broccoli Cheddar Soup while Malloree loves a bowl of Fish Chowder — personally I think she’s more into the old bay croutons than anything.
It was Ash’s turn and she started talking about how chicken gnocchi soup is one of her absolute favorites, that and lobster bisque. [<— my kind of girl!]
But first I was like — hold up, wait a minute– what is chicken gnocchi soup?
Apparently this soup is on the menu at Olive Garden? I had no clue because it’s been well over 8 years since the last time I was there and I think I ordered some chicken dish. I’m not the biggest fan (obviously) but hey I hear they have great breadsticks and salad [and soup ;)].
Overall this soup is pretty simple and straightforward. You’ll need 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 cup diced onion, 1/2 cup both sliced carrots (half-moons) and celery, a couple cloves of garlic (minced) and a teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves. You’ll also need 6 tablespoons flour, 4 cups half & half, 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, 2 cups chopped cooked chicken (leftovers!), 2 cups loosely packed chopped baby spinach and 16 ounces potato gnocchi.
And no, I did not make my own gnocchi. I just don’t have a great recipe yet nor do I have the time. Maybe when my kids are grown? We shall see. But in the meantime, bring a large pot of water (salted with 3 tablespoons of sea salt) and follow the package directions to cook the gnocchi. Typically it’s about 3 to 4 minutes or until they start to float at the top of the water.
Now let’s build this soup! Start by melting the butter in with the oil in a heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven on medium heat. Add in the onions, carrots and celery with a pinch of salt. Stir, cover and cook until the onions are translucent and carrots are fork tender, stir occasionally.
Once the gnocchi are cooked, drain them into a colander set into your sink. Then I lay them on a parchment lined, rimmed sheet pan so they don’t stick to each other.
Once the veggies are tender and cooked, add in the minced garlic and chopped thyme. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
Next add in the flour, stir and cook the flour/butter mixture for a minute or two.
Now stir, while pouring in the half & half. Then grate in 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg. Increase the heat to a simmer, stirring until thick. Then pour in the chicken broth, heat until the soup has thickened slightly.
Lastly, add in the cooked gnocchi, chicken and coarsely chopped spinach. Season with salt and pepper and heat until the spinach has wilted and the soup is thick and creamy.
I made this soup late yesterday afternoon, it was rainy and a little chilly with the temperature in the low 60’s. I served it with grilled fontina cheese sandwiches to Haileigh, Malloree and a few of Mal’s girlfriends. All 4 girls gave it two thumbs up — I had zero doubts.
Enjoy! And if you give this Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!
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