Olive Garden Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

     One of my favorite places to eat lunch whenever I go home to my parents is the Olive Garden.  My friend Christie and I love to go and get the soup, salad, and breadsticks.  In the winter time one of my favorite soups in the chicken and gnocchi.  It’s thick and creamy and is a total comfort food on a cold day.

    I was thrilled when I found a copycat recipe for this soup.  It’s super easy to make and so much healthier then the version at the Olive Garden.  The soup was hot and creamy with the perfect amount of vegetables, chicken, and gnocchi.  We had it for dinner with salad and rolls and while my salad and rolls were not up to the standards of the Olive Garden, I’m pretty sure the soup surpasses their soup.  My husband definitely agreed that this version was better then the original.

Olive Garden Chicken and Gnocchi Soup (adapted from Brenda’s Canadian Kitchen)

2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 c. onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 T. flour
1 quart fat free half and half
1 c. carrots, shredded
1 c. cooked chicken breast, diced
2 c. chicken broth
1 lb. potato gnocchi
1 c. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
½ t. thyme
½ t. parsley
1 t. black pepper
½ t. red pepper
3 T. Parmesan cheese

1. In a large sauté pan heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add in the flour and make a roux. Let the mixture cook for one minute then add the half and half.

2. Cook the mixture for 3-5 minutes or until thickened. Add in the carrots and chicken. Stir until well combined then add in the chicken broth. Cook for 5 minutes.

3. Add in the gnocchi, spinach, thyme, peppers, and parsley and stir. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and serve hot.

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