My first office job was in a small very laid back office, and the owner used to treat us to lunch every Friday. We would always order from the nicest restaurants we could (in a sea of corporate blahs’ like Applebees and Chili’s). The nutritional info on Olive Garden’s website is a horrifying place to browse and left me with few options that weren’t a salad too high in calories to be worth it. When I found the Chicken Gnocchi Soup I was surprised that something with Gnocchi in it could actually be moderately healthy, and even more surprised when I fell in love with it. In weeks to come, I’m sure my co-worker Stephanie became incredibly sick of OG (pauvre cherie).
I’ve never been one to get crazy about soup, I like to chew my food. But this soup is creamy, delicious, and the with the gnocchi, eating it for lunch doesn’t make you feel like you are on one of those insane liquid diets.
I have since started making this “skinny” version of Chicken Gnocchi Soup at home. It’s a great dish to make all fall and winter, when you are trying not to gain weight but are also freezing. The slow cooker is great for such dishes, since the flavors have so much time to integrate into the dish, you can use a lot of healthy ingredients with very few indulgent ones and produce a savory-delicious meal. When I made this for Gabe and I, he had no idea I was feeding him something healthy, and is actually somewhat obsessed with it.
- 1 C Chicken Breasts, diced and cooked
- 2 Tb Butter
- 4 Tb Olive Oil
- 1 Quart and a half can fat-free evaporated milk
- 14 oz. Chicken broth
- 1 C celery sliced
- 1/4 C flour
- 2 Garlic cloves, minced
- 1 C Carrots, shredded
- 1 Yellow onion (medium), diced
- 2 C. Baby Spinach, fresh and coarsely chopped
- 1 T thyme (can use dried 1/2 tsp thyme)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 oz. gnocchi, packaged
Step 1: Saute the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter and olive oil.
Step 2: Let the onion ‘sweat’ until translucent, then add the flour to the mixture to the vegtables, continuously stirring to form a roux. Continue stirring over the heat for one minute.
Step: 3: Add the evaporated milk and transfer to slow cooker with the carrots and chicken.
Step 4: Cook on low for 4-6 hours until heated through.
Step 5: While continuously stirring add the chicken broth and seasonings. Turn crockpot setting to ‘keep warm’ (if you do not have this setting keep on lowest possible).
Step 6: In another pan cook the gnocchi.
Step 7: About 5-10 minutes before serving, add the gnocchi and spinach.
Step 8: Enjoy creamy gnocchi goodness for dinner, and make your co-workers envious when they smell the leftovers you microwave for lunch….