Wednesday, April 3, 2013

yes, soup for you!

For our 1 year anniversary of being a moved-in-together-and-paying-bills-together-grown-up couple, my Aunt and Uncle gave me & Nick a gift card to the Olive Garden. Our "anniversary" was the last day of 2012... and we just now used the gift card. oops.

Nick & I hardly eat there. Like, we had only eaten there once together in the whole 3+ years we've been dating. But last Thursday, we decided to give it another shot {and to take my Dad along with us for the ride!}.

There were a few disappointments:
{ 1- they told me I couldn't have the Peach Sangria because they were out of peaches... but when they brought my Berry Sangria, there were NO BERRIES to be found either. 2- they tried serving my Braised Beef & Tortelloni without any of the "demi-glaze" that is supposed to be on it. 3- the beef & tortelloni doesn't actually get a demi-glaze, it is supposed to be in a basil-marsala sauce. Not cool, OG. Not cool. }

But the one thing that we all agreed on was that Dad's Chicken & Gnocchi soup was to.die.for.

In fact, he scarfed down one bowl of that deliciousness and then asked our waitress to bring another {unlimited soup, people!}. We all shared the second bowl and our taste buds were in heaven.
So good!

Well, he liked it so much that he went back a second time that weekend with my sister, just for the soup!
Enter that Sunday night when Dad and Jen were coming up to visit and have dinner. I told them I would make something with the spaghetti squash I had chillin' on the counter. Then, last minute, I changed my mind and decided I would surprise the Dadda with a homemade version of this yummy soup!

Ps- that is a crescent roll in the top right corner. I only just realized how *odd* it looks
now as I added it to this post. It's too late now to edit this picture again.
We'll just have to deal with the strangely shaped
baked goods... Moving on...

This recipe was super simple. I borrowed the recipe from here, but then adapted to what I had in the house {and to our tastebuds}. Here's how you make it:

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cooked & diced
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 quart half and half
  • 1 14 ounce can chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup celery, sliced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped {I used a 10 oz package of chopped spinach}
  • 1 tsp dried thyme {or as much as your tastebuds desire.}
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 16 ounce package gnocchi {I didn't use the gnocchi because I was in a time crunch and to be honest, I didn't miss it one bit! The soup was delish enough sans gnocchi.}

- In a large stockpot, saute the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic in the butter and olive oil.
- When the onion is clear, add the flour and form a roux.
- Stir and cook a minute.
- Add the half and half.
- Meanwhile in another pan, cook the gnocchi. {Can obv. skip this step if you're skipping the gnocchi.}
- Add the chicken to the stockpot.
- Stir often and when it gets thicker, add the chicken broth, gnocchi, spinach and seasonings.
- Cover and heat through.
*it may take a while for the soup to get thicker after adding the broth. trust me, it's worth the wait!*
- Eat straight from the stockpot with spoon  Enjoy!

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