OLIVE GARDEN CHICKEN GNOCCHI SOUP

After going to Olive Garden and having a long awaited Godfather marathon with my boyfriend this weekend, I decided to make a copycat recipe of the Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup! I love how rich and creamy the soup is. It’s super easy and quick to make! It also freezes pretty well so you can always make a big batch and freeze half of it for later 🙂

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The vegetables used in this recipe are pretty basic…onions, carrots, celery and spinach. Since I am allergic to the pesticides sprayed on fruits and vegetables, I either buy organic or cook down whatever I am eating. For this recipe, I just cooked the carrots and celery a bit longer than everything else

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OLIVE GARDEN CHICKEN GNOCCHI SOUP

  • Servings: 6-8 People
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS:


– ¼ cup of butter
– 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
– 1 cup of finely chopped onions
– ½ cup of finely chopped celery
– 1 cup of finely shredded carrots
– 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
– ¼ cup of flour
– 4 cups of half and half
– 2 (14 ounce) cans of chicken broth (I used 1 and a half for a thicker soup)
– ½ tsp of salt
– ½ tsp of dried thyme
– ½ tsp of dried parsley flakes
– 1 cup of finely chopped spinach leaves
– 1 cup of diced roasted chicken
– 1 package of gnocchi (if frozen, prepare as per the directions on package)

DIRECTIONS:


1) In a large pot, melt the butter and oil over medium heat.
2) Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook until golden brown
3) Whisk in the flour and cook for approximately 1 minute
4) Whisk in 1 cup of half and half. Bring to a simmer and while whisking add in the remaining half and half 1 cup at a time. Simmer until thickened
5) Whisk in the chicken broth. Continue simmering over medium/ low heat
6) Add the salt, thyme, parsely, spinach, chicken and gnocchi
7) Simmer for about 8-10 minutes
8) Enjoy! 🙂

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CREAMY MUSHROOM SOUP

One of my boyfriend and my favourite places to go eat is Joey. We both love the service, the atmosphere, the people and most of all the FOOD 🙂 When we first started coming to this restaurant, we would always order the Cream of Mushroom Soup and Crispy Mashed Potatoes. It was like heaven on a plate!

After having this dish many countless times, my boyfriend one night decided to go online and find what ingredients made up the perfect mushroom soup. We soon found out that it was pretty simple to make a basic mushroom soup. But on the other hand..why settle for basic when you could have extraordinary? We then realized that fresh mushrooms would be our key to this recipe.

We used 5 different types of mushrooms. White, Cremini, Portobello, Porcini and of course Shiitake 🙂 Each one of these mushrooms provide a distinct and unique flavour. We have our everyday white mushrooms. I tend to use the jumbo ones just because they always are on sale whenever I make this soup.

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                                                                      We then have our cremini mushroom. I love eating these mushrooms raw just because they have this earthy/meaty texture which makes it more enjoyable than eating raw white mushrooms. Then the portobello mushroom. In all honesty, it tastes like a large cremini mushroom. Due to its meaty texture, portobello mushrooms are a great meat alternative which is why many restaurants serve portobello burgers as a vegetarian option. Porcini mushrooms are famous and delicious in the Italian cuisine. They have this interesting hearty and nutty flavour, thick stem and huge cap (some that grow up to 12 inches in diameter!!!). I have never been able to find fresh porcini mushrooms in our local grocery stores (I’ve been told they’re more common to find in Europe) which is why I buy bags of dried ones. When buying dried porcini mushrooms, try to buy bags of whole mushrooms with a strong flavour. I’ve found that by buying packages of crumbled mushrooms, the flavour is not as strong. Of course, I kept my favourite mushroom for the end. Shittake mushrooms are very very interesting to look at. They are soft spongy taste to them and a smell which (I honestly don’t know why) reminds me of the woods 🙂

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                                                                   Another key ingredient to this soup is dry sherry! Sherry is a wine that’s fortified with neutral spirit which is why its higher in alcohol and long lasting. Even though I’ve only used dry sherry, I’ve found that they range from very sweet to dry. Dry sherry absolutely great to use while cooking! It’s awesome for deglazing and creating sauces. I remember a time when I made this soup and oddly enough we were out of sherry. So I let it be and went on to serve the soup. Of course, it was not nearly as enjoyable as it would have been if it had the sherry in it 🙂

CREAMY MUSHROOM SOUP

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS:


–  6 tbsp of butter
– 1 large onion (finely chopped)
 – 2 (14 g) bags of dried porcini or shiitake mushrooms
– 2 tsp of sea salt
– ½ tsp of black pepper
– 1 tsp of dried tarragon
– 1 tsp of dried oregano
–  5 cups (2.5 lbs) of white mushrooms (sliced)
– 1 ½ cups (0.8 lbs) of cremini mushrooms (sliced)
– 1 large portobello mushroom (sliced)
– ½ cup of flour
– 2 (900 ml) cartons of broth (I use vegetable)
– 1 cup of half & half
– 5-6 tbsp of dry sherry
– 1-2 cups of shiitake mushrooms

DIRECTIONS


1) In a large pot over medium heat, melt 3 tbsp of butter.
2) Add the chopped onions and cook until golden brown.
3) Add the dried mushrooms, sea salt, pepper, dried tarragon and dried oregano. Stir for 3-4 minutes
4) Add the white, cremini and portobello mushrooms. Stir and cover pot for 8-10 minutes.

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5) Add the remaining 3 tbsp of butter and flour. Stir until mixture becomes thick.
6) In a blender, add the mushroom mixture with some broth. Blend until smooth.
7) Transfer the blended mixture back into your pot and add all of the remainder broth.
8) Add the half & half and dry sherry. Bring the soup to a boil.
9) Once the soup has been brought to a boil, add the shittake mushrooms and simmer covered over low heat for 20-25 minutes.
10) Serve with a spoon of sour cream and crispy mashed potatoes 🙂

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