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Some of the best things in life can come from the most random and unexpected places. For example, a couple of weeks ago some colleagues and I were talking about Pinterest while sitting around the lunch table. I had mentioned the Olive Garden Copycat Minestrone Soup recipe that you make in a crock pot. Two of them piped up and mentioned the Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup – how it was the best thing EVER. Did I like it?
*Cricket. Cricket. Cricket.*
How had I missed this? I’ve eaten at the Olive Garden more times than I can count, but can’t remember seeing this on the menu, much less having had this soup. “Well, can’t you find a recipe on Pinterest?” And of course, I did in about 2 seconds. This Pin by Reeni of Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice came to the top of the search list.
Fast forward to Mother’s Day. My girls are on the other side of the country and the handsome hubby had to work. This year I was on my own, so I did what I wanted to do without any guilt. I thought about this soup and decided that it’s what I wanted for my Mother’s Day supper (along with a pitcher of Sunset Sangria – post to follow).
Wait, did someone ask, “what’s gnocchi”??? Gnocchi is this wonderful pasta made from potatoes that cooks into fluffy light clouds of pillowy pasta perfection. I went shopping and found this gnocchi at my Super Target. It was in the pasta aisle along with the rest of the Archer Farms brand pasta. I was lucky enough to hit the jackpot of savings that day; it was on sale, there was a Cartwheel discount, and I used my Red card. I love getting a good deal!
Here are the rest of the ingredients. Reeni suggested using a rotisserie chicken, so that’s what I did. I used the breast meat for the soup, and the rest went to other uses.
I regret to say that I made the soup and forgot to take the pictures. The good news is that it was such a basic soup recipe that I know you can do this.
Heat the butter and olive oil, saute and season the aromatics, make a roux, add liquids and chicken, then the cooked gnocchi and spinach.
This is what it looked like in the pot when I remembered to grab a picture.
This is what it looked like in the bowl topped with fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
And THIS is what it looked like with the garlic bread, salad, and Sangria. Happy Mother’s Day to me!
The taste was AMAZING! I completely agree with my work friends. The soup was creamy and rich, but not heavy. The gnocchi was light and almost creamy. It was so good that the handsome hubby had two and a half bowls.
The Pintesting Results:
Overall Results: 4.55 Pins
Accuracy: Having never had the original soup, I’m basing this solely on Reenie’s recipe and her blog description. “It doesn’t matter if you’ve eaten this soup before or not. You’re bound to like it. It’s the kind of soup that hugs you from the inside out and the outside in.” The soup was restaurant quality, flavorful, and surprisingly easy to make. 5 Pins
Difficulty: This is a simple soup recipe, as stated above. The “worst” part, if you can call it that, was cooking the gnocchi in a separate pot. Many soup recipes have you to cook the pasta/noodles/rice/etc. in the soup. I have a feeling that due to the cream, it would have made the gnocchi heavy instead of fluffy. This would be a good recipe for a culinary novice. 4 Pins
Time: Reeni gave a prep time of 20 minutes and cook time of 45 minutes. My prep time was about 10 minutes, perhaps because I cooked the gnocchi while the rest was cooking, and I used a rotisserie chicken? Start to finish I made the soup in about 30-35 minutes. 4 Pins
Cost: The most expensive ingredient for this recipe was the rotisserie chicken, which I got in the cold deli section, at a cost of less than $6. I only used the breast meat, so figure about half of that. I already mentioned that I hit the savings jackpot on the gnocchi. The recipe made enough soup for supper plus a couple days of lunch leftovers. 4 Pins
Practicality: This is a delicious soup that’s hearty enough to serve for supper with a salad and bread (as I did), but light enough that it can be served as a soup course if you’re entertaining with a multi-course meal. It came together easily and didn’t require any special equipment or cooking skills, and you don’t have to run to the Olive Garden every time you get a craving. 5 Pins
***Just a note: I received no compensation from the Olive Garden or Target. All opinions are my own.***