This is a copycat recipe of Olive Garden's newest soup, Chicken and Gnocchi. It's my favorite one there and I wanted to try to recreate it for a Lenten soup dinner at church. I found it on Recipezaar and tried it last week. It is pretty good, but I made a few changes for next time. Here is my amended recipe.
Olive Garden's Chicken and Gnocchi Soup
¼ cup butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. chicken breast, cubed
¼ cup flour
4 cups whole milk
½ cup carrots, shredded or matchstick
1 stalk celery, chopped
½ cup fresh spinach, chopped or torn
3 chicken bouillon cubes
16 - 17 oz. gnocchi
Melt butter in soup pot over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Add flour and stir into chicken for 2 minutes. Add milk slowly, stirring constantly. Add veggies and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat back to medium and cook until veggies have reached desired softness. Add gnocchi and cook an additional 3 minutes.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
The Recipezaar recipe for this soup called for more of the roux ingredients (the flour and the butter). It also called for part whole milk and part heavy cream. The reviewers said it came out really thick, so I used whole milk and half and half. They were right about it being too thick. It was super thick. I ended up adding 2 to 3 cups of chicken stock and it was still thicker than the Olive Garden version. So next time I make it, I will reduce the flour and butter (as above), so that not as much liquid is needed to thin it out. I also will make it using just whole milk instead of part half and half. Make sure you have some chicken stock on hand to thin it out if it becomes to thick.
Taste-wise, this is really good. It really does taste very close to the Olive Garden soup. It was a hit at the church dinner. I will definitely be making it again.