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 ;)].
To Make This Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup You Will Need:
- 16 ounces potato gnocchi
- unsalted butter
- olive oil
- cloves of garlic
- fresh thyme leaves
- unbleached all-purpose flour
- half & half
- low-sodium chicken broth
- cooked chicken (leftovers!)
- baby spinach
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 and moved out? We shall see. But in the meantime, bring a large pot of water (salted with 3 tablespoons of sea salt) and follow package directions to cook 1 pound 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 4 tablespoons of butter in with 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven on medium heat. Add in 1 cup diced onions, 1/2 cup each sliced 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 2 cloves minced garlic and 1 teaspoons chopped thyme. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
Next add in 6 tablespoons flour, stir and cook the flour/butter mixture for a minute or two.
Now stir, while pouring in 4 cups 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 4 cups chicken broth, heat until the soup has thickened slightly.
Lastly, add in the cooked gnocchi, 2 cups chopped chicken and 2 heaping cups baby spinach that has been coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper to taste and heat until the spinach has wilted and the soup is thick and creamy.
And smells heavenly.
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.
Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- 16 ounces potato gnocchi
- 4 cups half & half, see notes
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 medium carrot, or 1/2 cup, sliced into half-moons
- 2 ribs celery, or 1/2 cup, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 6 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 generous handfuls baby spinach, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups chopped leftover cooked chicken
- 1½ to 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook gnocchi 3 to 4 minutes or until they float to the top of the water. Drain and arrange on a parchment lined sheet pan so they don't stick together.
- NOTE: I've since skipped the above step completely and add the (uncooked) gnocchi to the pot after adding the warm broth and half & half.
- Pour half & half and broth in a separate saucepan and heat over low heat.
- In a heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter in with the oil over medium to medium-low heat. Add in the onions, carrots and celery with a pinch of salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender.
- Add in the garlic and thyme, cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Stir in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Continue to stir, while pouring in the warm broth and half & half. Then grate in 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg.
- Increase the heat and bring to a simmer, then reduce to low and continue to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until thick.
- Lastly, stir in the spinach, chicken, (cooked) gnocchi, salt and pepper. Cover and heat until the spinach has wilted.
- Ladle piping hot soup into bowls and top with chopped fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese.
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