So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished! Luke 1:45

Monday, February 9, 2015

Monday's Menu

Some of you might remember way back when I was posting recipes and menus on Mondays. Well, here it  is -- a Monday. And since I'm trying to behave myself and get back to posting like I should, I figured a good old Monday's Menu was the perfect place to start. So here goes.

It used to be that I really didn't care for soup. I pretty much ate chicken noodle or chili (both out of a can). Then I discovered my much beloved Loaded Baked Potato Soup. I began to broaden my horizons some and have since found that I truly love cream based soups.

I am still not much on tomato based soups. In fact, chili and taco soup are about it. But I am less persnickety about giving them a try than I used to be.

But cream based soups. I'll fight you for a good one. Okay. I might not.

But I probably will.

Chick is not much on soup. She feels pretty much the way I did growing up. Chili is it for her now though she will eat other soups because it-is-dinner-and-it-is-that-or-nothing. I figure she should be grateful though since we are practically clones which means she will one day discover she loves soup just as much I do now. And won't it be nice that Mom went to the trouble to find her all the right recipes?

Any who.

For Chick's birthday, we went to Olive Garden for lunch. Hubby decided to give their Chicken and Gnocchi Soup a try with his lunch. He gave a little sip to Dude (because that sounded right up his alley) and they both decided it was the stuff!

So when Dude's turn to plan the menu and cook the meal came up this week, he wanted to make gnocchi soup. I found a recipe here that was pretty darn good.

Gnocchi is basically a dumpling. You can buy a package of them in the noodle section of the store or you could probably just make a basic dumpling (like this one) and use them. Give it a try.

What soups does your family love?

Copycat Olive Garden Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup carrots, shredded
3 Tbsp flour
1 quart Fat Free Half & Half
1 (14oz) can low sodium chicken broth
1 cup fresh spinach, chiffonade (finely sliced)
¾ tsp dried thyme
salt & pepper to taste
1 (16oz) package Gnocchi

In a large stock pot heat olive oil & saute chicken breasts. Season with a little salt & pepper. Cook until mostly done (very little pink showing.)
Add butter until melted & then add the onion, celery, garlic & shredded carrots. Cook until onion is translucent. Add flour to absorb the liquid from the butter which will form a roux. Stir well.
Add the half & half and chicken broth. Stir until it comes to a boil. Allow to simmer while you cook the gnocchi in another pot of boiling water until dumplings float (3 minutes.) Drain & set aside. (*You could possibly just add the gnocchi to the pot of soup, but it might thicken the soup too much & be slightly starchy.)
Add spinach, thyme & cooked gnocchi to the pot of soup. Taste & adjust seasoning with salt & pepper. Serve hot.
*If the soup is not thick enough, add 1-2 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with just enough COLD water to stir it smooth. Add to the HOT soup & wait for it to boil to thicken up.

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