I love Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi Soup. Love, love love! In the past, I would gladly eat two bowls of it, about 5 breadsticks, and take my whole meal home! But I've had to skip it since becoming vegetarian and that sucks. So I found a copycat recipe online, and tweaked it to make it vegetarian. (I am so grateful for copycat sites!)
Surprisingly enough (not), the original recipe calls for chicken ... I added boiled potatoes to take their place. You could probably cook the potatoes right in the soup - just make sure to add them early enough that they finish cooking before everything else goes soft. That might be too much potato in one soup for some people (is that even possible?). :) You could bump up the amounts of the gnocchi or other veggies in the recipe, or add corn, bell peppers, or soy "chicken" if the extra potatoes don't float your boat. Any other ideas for taking the place of the chicken?
Start by chopping your veggies:I didn't have any garlic cloves, so I took the cheater route:
Saute both in butter and olive oil (and your onion if you decide to add one) for about 2-3 minutes.
Then measure the flour . .
Add it to the pot and cook for about a minute:
Add the half and half (I used 2 cups half and half, 2 cups almond milk - it still turned out deliciously creamy).
Let it thicken, then add vegetable broth. The recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of broth, but I only used 1 cup because
Shred some carrots (went the lazy route here - no shame!) and toss them in.
Dump in the gnocchi (I used the pre-made frozen stuff - making gnocchi from scratch once was enough to scar me for life) and follow the package directions for how long to simmer. Then add the potatoes.
Round up your spices! The pepper isn't in the recipe or pictured, but I added a 1/2 teaspoon (can't hurt, right?). Onion powder is missing from this photo, too (gosh, I suck). I'm not a huge fan of onion chunks, but like the flavor, so I just used the powder instead. I skipped the salt completely.
Stir those spices in with your spinach and cook for about 2-3 more minutes.
Dish it out and enjoy!
This was amazing - I definitely will be making it again! It probably would have been even tastier with bread... my husband suggested looking for a copycat version of Olive Garden's breadsticks (and who can say no to that?) ;)
|Vegetarian Version of Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi Soup |
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 4 tablespoons flour
• 2 cups half and half
• 2 cups almond milk
• 1/2 cup celery, diced
• 2 minced garlic cloves
• 1 - 2 cups vegetable broth (feel free to use more)
• 1 cup carrots, shredded
• 1 cup potatoes, diced and cooked (about 2 medium)
• 1 package pre-made gnocchi
• 1 - 2 cups of fresh spinach, chopped
• 1 teaspoon onion powder
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon thyme
• 3/4 teaspoon parsley
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Saute the celery and garlic in the butter and olive oil over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Add the flour and make a roux. Let the butter and flour mixture cook for about a minute before adding half and half and milk. Allow to thicken. Into the roux, add vegetable broth and carrots. Once the mixture becomes thick, add the gnocchi, and simmer according to package directions. Stir in cooked potatoes, spinach, and seasoning; simmer 2-3 minutes until soup is heated through. Enjoy!
Let me know what you think if you make it!
Edited to add: I made this again recently with kale in place of the spinach, and added shredded cauliflower to thicken it up (you can't taste it!). Look how yummy: