Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup!

My family and I love soups!   I make some type of soup just about every week!   Also, if you have followed my blog long, you know I love the soups at Olive Garden!   I spent some time coming up with my own copycat versions for their Zuppa Toscana and their Pasta Fagioli,   which I think are very similar.   

I have had several people ask me for a recipe for the Chicken Gnocchi Soup and for some reason it has taken me this long to get around to it!   I was really pleased with this once I did it!   To be honest, it's a little different than theirs, but I actually like it better.   I sort of geared it to my families tastes.  This is so rich and creamy!!!  

This is a soup you can have on the table in less than an hour easily, which is always nice.  If you add bread sticks and a salad, you have a complete meal!  

Here is what you will need:

6 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup carrots, cut in matchsticks or grated
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1.2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 cup flour
32 oz. chicken broth
3 cups half and half cream
3 cups chicken breast, cooked and diced
1 (16 oz.) pkg. potato gnocchi (I prefer frozen)
8 oz. baby spinach leaves
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1 cup heavy cream

In a heavy soup pot or Dutch Oven, melt the butter and along with olive oil over medium heat.  Add the diced onion and celery and cook until it starts to soften.  Add the carrots and garlic.  Saute for until the garlic is soft, but don't let it burn.   

Add in all of the seasonings and the flour.  Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly so the flour doesn't stick.   Add in the chicken broth and whisk.   Bring to a low boil, whisking any lumps out. 

 When it starts to thicken, turn the heat down and add the half and half.  Whisk until incorporated.  Add the cooked chicken.  You can use a rotisserie chicken, leftover chicken breasts or just bake about 2 or three chicken breasts to use. 

Add the potato gnocchi.  I like to use frozen gnocchi, because I think it holds up better and I like the texture.  This is one I really like.  Stir it in the baby spinach leaves and then put the top on your soup pot and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the gnocchi is done. 

Stir in half of the Parmesan cheese and then drizzle the top with the heavy cream!!!  The cream and the Parmesan really take this over the top!!!  

Serve this delicious  soup with the additional Parmesan on top to each person's taste! 

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