So we love the Olive Garden… but we usually make it out the door with a tab of $25 including tip! How can we do that you ask? Are you only feeding one person? no, and no! We, my family of four, enjoy the all you can eat soup. There are several kinds to choose from and the cost is about $5 per person. We typically drink water anyway, so unless we order an appetizer or a dessert, we are cheap, or thrifty, however you want to think about it.
Our favorites are the Zuppa Toscana, and the Chicken and Gnocchi (my oldest mixes the two together). We have made the Zuppa before so I googled a recipe for the Chicken and Gnocchi. Copykat.com is someone that I have been following and when they came up on the search I knew it was the one to try.
The recipe is surprisingly easy, and I am sure you could use leftovers for some of the ingredients. Give this soup a try and then next time, add more veggies, or a different kind of protien… let me know how it turns out!
P.S. I found the gnocchi in the dried pasta section of my supermarket.
Here is the recipe from http://www.copykat.com
Yield: 8 servings.
1 cup chicken breasts, cooked and diced (you can use a rotisserie chicken)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 quart half and half
1 14 ounce can chicken broth
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup carrots, finely shredded
1 cup onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin oil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon parsley
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese – optional
1 pound potato gnocchi – can buy this in the gourmet section of many supermarkets
Sauté the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter and olive oil, over medium heat when the onion becomes translucent, add the flour, and make a roux, let the butter and flour mixture cook for about a minute before adding 1 quart of half and half.
Cook gnocchi according to package directions.
Into the roux add in the carrots and chicken. Once the mixture becomes thick add the chicken broth. Once the mixture thickens again, add the cooked gnocchi, spinach, and seasonings, simmer until soup is heated through.
Comments about this recipe: You can add more chicken if you like. While you could use left over cooked chicken breasts, I really think using the rotisserie chicken that are found in many grocery stores is the best way to get the optimal flavor of this soup. If you want to make the soup lower calorie you can use milk instead of half and half. Half and Half, does taste better, and it also reheats better than milk does.
A big thanks to Stephanie Manley at http://www.copykat.com, this was a great recipe!