A few years ago my daughter (now 7 years old) decided that "Grape Garden" was her favorite restaurant. When I try to correct her, telling her it's actually Olive Garden, she points to the sign and says, "Then why did they put GRAPES on the sign? They should have put OLIVES." Good point, and we now all refer to this land of pasta and endless soup, salad and breadsticks as "Grape Garden." My go-to order is this soup, a soup that is both hearty and filling, as well as shockingly lower in calories than it tastes. When I set out to make this soup in my own kitchen, I was not at all prepared for how great it turned out. Not just better than the restaurant version, MUCH better. And it's quick and easy. It's my new go-to soup for those cold days when "Grape Garden" just seems too far away.
Things You'll Need
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ribs of celery, chopped
2 large carrots, grated
1 cup chopped white onion
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
8 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
16 oz prepared gnocchi
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken (leftover rotisserie works well)
½ cups heavy cream
Step 1: Sauté the Vegetables
Melt the butter in a large stock pot. Add the celery, carrots and onions, and then cook until the vegetables have started to soften.
Step 2: Add the Garlic and Flour
Stir in the garlic, then sprinkle the pan with flour, stirring until the flour is well combined with the vegetables.
Step 3: Stir in the Broth, Gnocchi, Spices, Chicken and Spinach
Stir in the remaining ingredients (other than the cream) and bring to a simmer, cook until the gnocchi is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Step 4: Add the Cream
Lower the heat and stir in the cream. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
Step 5: Serve
Serve immediately or store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to three days, heat to serve.