The Secret Recipes and Ingredients to Making the Perfect Family Dinner: Gnocchi Soup
Gnocchi Soup: A family favorite!
Okay you guys, here's another of my staple recipes that makes a regular appearance on my dinner table in the cold season. This is gnocchi soup. It's creamy, hearty...It's like being hugged on the inside. It's so warm and delicious, it's awesome for when winter rolls around and everyone's starving after a long day battling the cold winds. This recipe makes a big ol' pot of soup so there will be plenty for big families with hungry guys and there might even be some leftovers! Without further ado, let's dive right in!
Approximate Cook Time
What You'll Need
- 3 tablespoons Butter, Room Temperature
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3/4 cup Onion, Diced
- 1/2 cup Carrots, Diced
- 1/2 cup Celery, Diced
- 4 cloves Garllic, Minced
- 2 pinches Salt and Pepper
- 1/3 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 4 cups Chicken Broth
- 1+1/2 cups Half and Half
- 2 cups Cooked Chicken, Shredded into small bites
- 1 pound Potato Gnocchi
- 3 cups Baby Spinach, Stems Removed
- 1 tablespoon Basil, Chopped
- 2 Pinches Parmesan Cheese, Grated for serving
Here's How You Prepare The Stuff
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the cooked chicken. Bring up to a simmer and maintain for 20 minutes stirring often. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- 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.
- If you like, serve with a sliced piece of french bread for dipping.
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
To save time, sometimes I just grab a rotisserie chicken from the store to go in my soup. It makes a different flavor compared to home-cooked chicken. Of course, if you want all white meat with an unseasoned flavor, you can cook some chicken breasts. There's really no right or wrong way, it's your call! Like I say, the rotisserie chicken is mostly a big time-saver for me.
Freshness is key
Fresh spinach is ideal. While I've used questionable packaged spinach before, I always wash it thoroughly beforehand. Spinach has a reputation of coming through the stores a bit dirty, so wash that stuff!
A word about peeling the garlic
Peeling garlic can be a big pain in the butt. If you use your bare fingers, your hands will smell like garlic for days I swear. If you do it by hand, consider some food preparation gloves. Also, if you don't feel like mincing, you can always invest in a garlic press. It's a hand-held tool that squeezes garlic into mince-sized bits. If you want to avoid smelly garlic hands altogether, below is a little cooking hack for peeling.
Cooking Hack for Peeling Garlic
Here's some other hacks for you
Sometimes I'm kind of short on time. So instead of making everything in the dutch oven at the end of the day, I'll throw all the ingredients into the crock pot (slow cooker) in the morning and let it simmer all day. Then I cook and throw in the gnocchi right before dinnertime. This is certainly an option for you if time is an issue. And finally, a great way to accessorize this meal is to slice up some french bread to serve with it. Having the spongy bread helps soak up that delicious frothy broth and kind of ties the whole soup experience together.
What are you waiting for?!
So if you want to try out this quick, dirty, delicious dinner, get out there and give it a shot! It'll be a big hit, I promise! And feel free to make any alterations you want. Cooking is as much an art as it is a science.