This is very close to the one that Olive Garden serves.
1 cup chicken breasts, cooked and diced (you can use a rotisserie chicken)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 quart half and half
1 14 ounces can of chicken broth
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
2 minced garlic cloves
1 cup carrots, finely shredded
1 cup onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoons extra virgin oil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon parsley
Freshly grated Parmesan cheeses optional
1 pound potato gnocchi you can buy this in the gourmet section of many supermarkets, or in the frozen food section.
Saute the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter and olive oil over medium heat until the onion becomes translucent. Add the flour and make a roux. Let the butter and flour mixture cook for about a minute before adding 1 quart of half and half.
Cook gnocchi according to package directions.
Into the roux, add in the carrots and chicken. Once the mixture becomes thick, add the chicken broth. Once the mixture thickens again, add the cooked gnocchi, spinach, and seasoning;, simmer until soup is heated through.
You can add more chicken if you like. While you could use leftover cooked chicken breasts, I really think using the rotisserie chicken that are found in many grocery stores is the best way to get the optimal flavor of this soup. If you want to make the soup lower in calories, you can use milk instead of half and half. Half and Half does taste better though, and it also reheats better than milk does.
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