Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I HEART Olive Garden

I have always had a love for Italian food, and I enjoy the food at Olive Garden.  But now that I have a family and a budget, I tend to think that it's got to be one of the most overpriced restaurants out there.  I mean, pasta and tomatoes...seriously.

Generally, most of my trips to the Olive Garden recently have been for date nights, and I gravitate to their all you can eat soup, salad, and breadsticks.  Mmmmmm...

I lived most of my life with no clue what potato gnocchi was or that it even existed.  But then the Olive Garden added a chicken and gnocchi soup to the menu.  It is definitely yummy!  Still, paying that much for soup is a rare treat.

That's why I was so interested when I found a package of gnocchi during my last trip to Aldi.  If you shop there, then you know a bit about how some of their products can come and go with the seasons, and sometimes it's like a little treasure hunt.  I wasn't sure how it would go over with my family, but I knew that I wanted to try to make my own chicken and gnocchi soup.

I came home armed with that $1.69 package of potato gnocchi and a can of cooked chicken breast since I already had plans for all the chicken that I knew was waiting for me at home.  Then I set out to search for a recipe.

In the end, I mixed a couple of recipes and sort of made it up as I went along. I thought it was very tasty, so I wanted to share the recipe I put together with you all.  It ends up with more veggies than the Olive Garden soup, but that's a plus in my mind.


Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi Soup



Ingredients:
3 Tbsp butter
3 cloves of garlic, pressed
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 rib of celery, thinly sliced
1 handful of fresh spinach leaves
1 cup frozen peas
potato gnocchi (around 11 oz)
1 can cooked chicken breast (around 12 oz. I think)
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
freshly ground pepper


In a large saucepan, heat the butter until melted over med/hi heat.  Add pressed or minced garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes.  Add the sliced carrots and celery, and saute until they begin to get tender.


Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Remove stems from the spinach leaves, tear them, and add them to the boiling broth.  Add the gnocchi and cook 2-3 minutes.


Add the cream, milk, cooked chicken, and frozen peas.  Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Season with pepper to taste, and serve warm.



In the end, this was very easy to make, and my 7 year old (who professes not to like spinach or peas) said that it was good.  I loved it, and will definitely be adding it to my list of lunch ideas for the winter.

This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

3 comments:

  1. Yum! I'm going to make this. I went to Olive Garden and tried and was not impressed, an I remember saying "I can make this at home".

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  2. I think the actual Olive Garden version is lacking in substance. It's pretty much just chicken, gnocchi, and spinach. I definitely like the added veggies in this one.

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  3. Anonymous8:33 PM

    I am going to try this! We love that soup at OG, too!

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