Chicken & Gnocchi Soupy Stew – 25 Days of Christmas: Day 6

My grandmother is hitting an age where she likes comfortable places.  When I go home to visit, my mom gives me three choices for dinner: The Seafood restaurant, The Steak restaurant, or The Olive Garden.

I may or may not love The Olive Garden just a little bit.  So I don’t really complain when we go there for dinner.  Ssssssh!!!

And I love their chicken & gnocchi soup.  It is delicious and chicken-y and creamy and gnocchi-y.  Such a comfort soup, and as long as you only have one bowl, it really doesn’t knock you back too badly on the calorie count (at least in comparison to most of their other dishes and if you can hold off at one breadstick which who really can actually do that??)

I lightened it up a bit…I actually prefer stews to soups, I want more substance than a spoonful of cream and broth.  So here is my soupy stew version of their soup!  And seriously, super easy.  Took me maybe 20 minutes to make this after I’d taken apart the rotisserie chicken?

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Chicken & Gnoochi Soupy Stew

Serves 5-6

~3 cups cooked chicken, coursely chopped (I bought a $5 rotisserie chicken from Costco and used about half…seriously, the best way to do this)
Olive Oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
2 C low sodium chicken broth
1 C fat free half & half
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
Salt & Pepper
1 pkg gnocchi (anywhere from 12-18oz)
2 C spinach, chopped
1/3 C shredded parmesan

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Saute the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic over medium heat until the onion is translucent.  Transfer the vegetables to a large pot.  Add the chicken (the pic above is the chicken from the WHOLE chicken, so only about half of that), the broth, the half & half, and the seasonings.  Bring to a light boil.  Add the gnocchi, allow to boil for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly, and turn to a simmer for 8-10 minutes.  Add the spinach & parmesan cheese, and cook until the spinach is wilted and the cheese is melted.  Serve.  Eat.

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