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
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.