Crazy Good Almost Olive Garden Chunky Chicken Gnocchi Soup

“What others think about you is none of your business.”
Jack Canfield

Gather the ingredients, mise en place, extra steps…Hell ya, a well worth trying it out version of OG’s gnocchi chicken soup as we slip into fall and all that goes with it, especially the cooler evening temperatures that are perfect for a nice sit down dinner on the back porch or eating by the outdoor fireplace, so gather a few friends and enjoy a soup fest in the fall air.  Serve with freshly made bread, rolls or the all-time favorite breadsticks, homemade or store/restaurant bought

#1-time-saver…buy a rotisserie chicken, remove the meat from the bones, cube, and reserve about 2-3 cups for the soup, save the rest for an additional pot of chicken soup for later, cover and refrigerate until time to make the soup.  Make your own stock:  2 big fat chicken breasts, thawed or not and cook them under pressure in the Instant broth that way you can make extra chicken stock for later.  My simple version leaves you plenty of time for prep work before the soup goes on.

#2-time-saver time-saver, buy a good hearty chicken stock if you are not making your own…at least 8 cups.

Skip to “make the soup” if you bought your chicken and stock.

#3 Optional homemade chicken stock:  Grab the Instant Pot and the inner basket, fill the basket with the chicken breasts, 2 small bay leaves, 3 sprigs of thyme, 1 big fat leaf of Cuban oregano, about a 2″ piece of fresh rosemary,  a good handful of baby carrots, 1/2 medium yellow onion peeled or unpeeled, 2 celery stalks, broken into chunks, 2 cloves of garlic, peeled or unpeeled, 1 pod of Knorr concentrated chicken stock, and 8 cups of water.  My chicken breasts were frozen so I set the IP for 45 minutes on high pressure, closed valve and did a natural release time.

Carefully remove the inner basket, the vegetables are spent so I tossed them, pulled and cubed the chicken and refrigerated while I got the rest of the ingredients ready.  Reserve all of the stock.

Make the soup:  Since I get really lazy with the Instant Pot I don’t even sauté the rest of the veggies that I put into the soup.  I made a separate roux in a small pot, 2 tablespoons flour, 2 tablespoons butter, whisk until butter melts and thoroughly blend.  Slowly pour in about 1 cup of the reserved broth, whisk until slightly thickened. You can make more of the roux to add to the soup if you like it thicker.  Use the roux only if you want to…

Have ready your Instant Pot with either regular pot insert or the nonstick insert
1 rib of peeled and finely diced celery
1 grated medium-sized carrot or you can finely dice it
As much chicken as you feel like adding
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 tablespoon butter 6-7 cups stock
1 1/2-2 cups heavy cream

Last few cooking minutes…Soup add-ins:
a little grate of nutmeg
a 2-inch piece of Parmigiana cheese rind or 1/2 to 3/4 cup shaved cheese blend for the pot
a couple of handsful of fresh spinach, torn
1 lb package premade gnocchi uncooked this will take about 7 minutes of cooking time in the soup or you can precook it

Toss ingredients and some of the roux (except cheese rind or cheese) into empty IP (with nonstick liner if you have one), set to sauté on high for at least 20 minutes.  Once the soup is bubbling up toss in the cheese rind or better yet, the shaved or grated cheese blend, uncooked gnocchi, and spinach, test gnocchi for doneness, serve hot with extra cheese and pinches of red pepper flakes.

Check for soup thickness before serving…